By Rick Sallinger

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Tuesday’s flash flood in Larimer County brought down homes, rocks and trees by the ton. The debris is now wedged behind the Black Hollow Road bridge, west of Rustic, creating an unwanted, makeshift dam.

It is like a dangerous game of pickup sticks, but these are giant logs. Heavy equipment was brought in to try to clear the debris on the Poudre River to prevent it from hurtling downstream.

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Suzan Bond Philpott surveyed the area where the five homes were destroyed.

“It’s overwhelming you can’t even imagine what it used to look like,” Phillpott said.

With all the debris, a private bridge was probably not stable, but officials deemed it safe to cross on foot for now. Bonnie Karagan crossed the bridge with a friend, whose home is in the damaged area.

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“It was a little hairy at first because there were holes in the bridge too, so that was a little nerve wracking,” said Karagan.

As officials search for three people still unaccounted for, crews are removing debris to prevent a dam burst.

“Of course our thoughts are with the family and hope that they find their members soon. It’s hard to be looking for somebody in this kind of situation,” Suzan Bond Philpott said, expressing remorse.

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Philpott’s home, which has been in her family since the stage coach days, survived.

The mood here was one of emotion and fear as those with ties to this location were brought in to see for themselves the devastation. The destroyed property can be replaced, but the lives lost at the Black Hollow bridge cannot.

Rick Sallinger