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Devastating Flooding Subject Of New Documentary

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BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)- A group of volunteers who helped some residents in Northern Colorado after last fall’s devastating flooding is making a documentary.

They’re called the “Mudslingers” and they are compiling stories of survival and recovery in the past 10 months since devastating flooding ripped apart several communities.

Now the Mudslingers are taking their cause online, via Kickstarter campaign, to make a documentary about the flood.

The Mudslingers helping flood victims (credit: Mudslingers)

The Mudslingers helping flood victims (credit: Mudslingers)

“The most horrific time I’ve ever come across in my life,” said flood victim Gurpreet Gill.

Gill had lived in Four Mile Canyon in Salina for years but nothing could have prepared her for what happened in September 2014.

“I’d say about 12:30, quarter to one, the mudslide hit,” said Gill.

During the second night of storms a mudslide slammed into the home that she and her neighbors had taken shelter, burying several of them.

“Boulder, trees, water, mud… and screams,” said Gill.

Everyone escaped and they were airlifted out of the canyon the next day. They left behind their homes and belongings– buried in mud.

“That was most of the intense days,” said Gill.

Her story is one of many that filmmaker Aly Nicklas wants to tell.

“We never sat down and said, ‘Okay, let’s do this.’ It just happened,” said Nicklas.

Nicklas, a filmmaker from Boulder, is behind Mudslingers, the grassroots Colorado flood volunteer group.

The Mudslingers are made up of a group of local people who took everything they had, “I think we brought two shovels,” and did all they could to help.

“It started out as just friends helping friends and it turned into this massive effort of strangers helping strangers,” said Nicklas.

The Mudslingers were one of the first groups of people to arrive in Salina after the floods. When they arrived, it was pure devastation.

“A lot of the houses we went into had anywhere from one to eight feet of mud in them,” said Nicklas. “It was one of the most emotionally difficult things I’ve ever participated in.”

Nicklas wants to turn that massive volunteer recovery effort into a film, a documentary titled “Knee Deep.” It will focus on the tipping point of taking action.

“The film is more an exploration of what inspires people to take action and the impact of doing so,” said Nicklas.

A Kickstarter campaign to fund the project is taking donations. Right now the group is just short of its goal.

“They dug out my car and dug out my deck,” said Gurpreet. “I can’t even begin to really put into words how much that buoyed us and supported us in the most horrific time I’ve ever come across.”

LINK: kickstarter.com/projects/alynicklas

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