ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4)– The Big Thompson River has flooded Estes Park, forcing evacuations and businesses to close.

Riverside Drive has been overtaken by the river. Many businesses have closed because of the rushing water.

Some places have lost power and more than 1,700 people have been contacted to either evacuate or they were placed on a pre-evacuation notice.

The water continued to rise in the business district on Thursday afternoon.

The Big Thompson River was overtaking homes and bridges and washing away cars along Highway 34.

Many people were trapped inside their home, unable to leave. Law enforcement officers were checking on those who had been cut off from everything.

Estes Park is known for tourism as it leads into Rocky Mountain National Park.

People who live in the area told CBS4 they had never seen flooding like this.

“We’ve lived here 15 years. No, we’ve never seen it this high,” said one resident.

The locals said they had never seen more than one flood gate open on the dam for Estes Lake. All the dams were opened on Thursday.

The park below the lake has turned into a part of the Big Thompson River.

The Bureau of Reclamation manages the dam for Estes Lake. Thursday evening it was between 1,700 and 2,000 cfs.

Schools in Estes Park are closed on Friday.

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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