LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – When the National Guard went into Lyons to evacuate residents in the cut off Boulder County town, Mary Hemme was one of the first to leave.
The moments before she made it out will not be not long forgotten, but they were still difficult for her to talk about with a CBS4 crew on Friday.
“I have seen enough for now,” said Hemme, with tears in her eyes. “I feel so sorry for my friends.”
Hemme knew early on when the historic flooding started that she and fellow residents would have to leave their town, but she didn’t expect what it would take to get out of the town.
“I got in my car and I headed out but the river was going around the bend and it was also coming at me. So I threw it in reverse as fast as I could and I got out of there. I got out of there just in time, and that’s why I’m still kind of shook up.”
The National Guard has evacuated nearly 300 people from Lyons so far. Roads in and out of the town remain impassable for normal vehicles.
Hemme says even riding alongside the trained National Guard emergency responders she struggled to feel safe.
“The scary part about coming here was the river. We had to cross the river and it was really scary and high. But we trusted their trucks because their tires were huge. The road was broken down on the sides.”
Hemme made it to Life Bridge Church In Longmont. She planned to stay at the evacuation center as long as she could until a stranger offered to help.
“She was sitting on the bench and she just looked so sad. And so I said ‘Do you have somewhere to go? And she said ‘No, not really just here.’ And I said ‘Would you like a place to go?’ ” said Longmont resident Casey Hamblin.
Hamblin, like dozens of other Longmont residents, just wanted to help, even though they, too, are threatened by flash flooding.
More than 7,000 homes in the city of Longmont have been evacuated, but those whose homes aren’t threatened by the flood waters are doing whatever they can to help as many as they can.
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.