BOULDER, Colo. - Flash flooding in Colorado has left at least three people dead, and the widespread high waters are keeping rescuers teams from reaching stranded residents and motorists in Boulder and nearby mountain communities as heavy rains hammer the area.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for Boulder County and northwest Jefferson County, while a mandatory evacuation was in effect for the tiny community of Jamestown and the Fourmile area, northwest of Boulder.
MORE IMAGES - Colorado flooding: http://bit.ly/17tfakL
According to 10News' sister station, KMGH-TV, the first death was reported late Wednesday night in Jamestown, northwest of Boulder. Multiple buildings were reported to have collapsed in Jamestown and the person who died was trapped in one of the buildings.
The Colorado Springs Fire Department Heavy Rescue personnel recovered the body of a man from the water while conducting flood patrols in the area early Thursday morning, officials tweeted.
The most recently discovered death came from Boulder County, when the body of an adult male was found.
Boulder Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman Gabrielle Boerkircher says volunteers are trying to help stranded people until emergency crews can arrive because many roads are impassable.
Boekircher says about 400 students at the University of Colorado were evacuated and the campus was shutting down Thursday because of the flooding.
The Weather Service posted flash flood warnings for Boulder County and for parts of Broomfield, Adams, Weld, Larimer, and El Paso counties.
NWS meteorologist Bob Kleyla says a 20-foot wall of water was reported in Left Hand Canyon north of Boulder. He says a firefighter radioed he was trapped in a tree, and rescuers were trying to get through.
Emergency Management also reported an overtopping dam near Big Elk Meadows or about 4 miles west of Pinewood Springs. One of four dams including Sunset Lake, Rainbow Lake, Willow Lake and Mirror Lake are overtopping and are in fear of breaching.
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Cars were swallowed early Thursday when floodwaters undercut Dillon Road near Highway 287, between Lafayette and Broomfield.
The situation was first reported with a 911 call at 5:58 a.m. Rescuers from the North Metro and Lafayette Fire Departments were dispatched and found three vehicles partially submerged.
"We were able to use ropes to stabilize the cars first," Sara Farris, North Metro Fire Rescue spokeswoman, told KMGH-TV.
Water rushed over and through all of the vehicles. One vehicle, a silver sedan, fully overturned in the water.
"There was one victim in each of the three cars, so three victims total, they each had minor injuries," Farris said.
The three drivers were taken to local hospitals for treatment. Crews are still trying to determine how to take the vehicles out of the water.
Watch KMGH-TV's continuous coverage of the Colorado flooding below (mobile users: http://bit.ly/19KAwdr):