Flooding in Colorado left whole towns stranded, including the National Guard and other rescue workers that were there to evacuate residents near Lyons, a National Guard spokeswoman told the media on Monday.
While thousands have already been rescued, additional rain on Sunday hampered evacuation efforts and even stranded 15 Colorado National Guard members and emergency workers.
According to a press release by the Colorado National Guard, floodwaters rose so high that half a dozen tactical vehicles, with a horsepower of 275 each that were deployed to the area, could not breach them.
Colorado Air National Guard Master Sgt. Cheresa Theiral told CNN that the troops and emergency workers would be stranded in Lyons until roads clear enough for their vehicles or the weather clears for aviation rescue. Until then, the National Guard members and emergency workers are waiting out the floodwaters on higher ground.
U.S. Army aviators were able to rescue some civilians, pets and emergency responders Sunday before the weather grounded helicopters. Five people have been confirmed dead with one more missing and presumed dead, and over 1,000 people remain unaccounted for, though that number doesn't necessarily mean the death toll will rise drastically.
"We don't expect to find 1,254 fatalities," Micki Trost, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, told USA Today.
As of Monday morning, over 2,200 people and over 500 pets had been evacuated by the National Guard and the 4th Infantry Division.