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Man Chronicles Escape From Big Thompson Flooding

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Big Thompson River flooding on Thursday (credit: Paul Sterling)

Big Thompson River flooding on Thursday (credit: Paul Sterling)

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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- Some of the worst flooding has been along the Big Thompson River west of Loveland. One man documented his escape from the potentially deadly flooding.

Some residents have been trapped after rushing water tore apart bridges from their homes and neighborhoods to Highway 34.

That highway through the Big Thompson Canyon was closed Thursday. For those living in Estes Park the only way in and out of town is Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park. The town of Drake is cut off.

One man chronicled his escape from the rushing water.

Paul Sterling has lived in Big Thompson Canyon for 10 years. Early Thursday morning he received a knock on his door with a warning- he needed to leave and quickly.

“Oh my God, I hope when I get home I have a house,” Sterling is heard in the background of the cell phone video he took as he escaped to safety.

Before he jumped in his car to drive away he captured the scene around his home.

“What you are about to see is totally crazy. That’s my deck right there,” said Sterling.

He said with the floodwaters closing in he threw a few things into his car and drove while documenting his escape.

Sterling passed bridge after bridge perilously close to being washed away. He believes those living on the other side were stuck.

“Well, I wouldn’t trust the bridges if they gave way. There would be no way to rescue you.”

Sterling made is safely to Estes Park. He’s a whitewater kayaker which is why he lives on the Big Thompson River.

He estimates the flow of the river is about 10 times what it normally would be this time of year.

Colorado Floods: How To Help

The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.

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