Caitlin Keating
September 30, 2013 12:00 PM

Fed by unusually high September rains, churning, brown and deadly flood waters engulfed Colorado. “We had 20 minutes to evacuate our house,” says Vanessa Ramirez, 32, of Longmont. When the mother of three returned two days later, “it was destroyed.” A 7-ft. pile of what used to be their things now sits on the street. But along with the thousands who lost only property, they are the lucky ones. So far, seven people, including two teenagers who were driving home with friends, have died across the state, and 1,000 more are on the search-and-rescue list. But even as Gov. John Hickenlooper declared a state of emergency and more rain hampered rescue efforts, some saw hope amid the clouds. “Our entire town is like family,” says Rose Brotherton, 24, of Jamestown. “We will help each other heal.”

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