Live

Watch CBSN Live

Deadly flash floods tear through northern Colorado: "We saw a roof go floating by"

One person is dead, and two are missing after a flash flood tore through northern Colorado Tuesday night.

Social media videos and photos caught the ferocity of the rushing waters, which one witness said turned a local river into a torrent in a matter of seconds.

"The river was turned up. There was mud, rocks, trees. It was horrible. Four or five feet above the normal state," James Czarneck told CBS News' Omar Villafranca.

In the aftermath, at least five homes were destroyed in Larimer County, north of Denver. Some campers said they had little time to escape. 

"There were logs, like, trees, that were just going down the river. It was intense, for sure," said Tiffany Cox, who was camping in the area.

Officials had issued an emergency order to evacuate after heavy rains hit northern Colorado. The area is prone to mudslides and debris flows due to recent wildfires.

"A lot of exposed rock, soil. A downpour like that, it was a recipe for exactly what we saw. When we saw a roof go floating by, it was a pretty good indication this was much worse than just water flowing past us," Czarneck said.

Officials will now survey the damage, with more rain expected later Wednesday. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.