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Flood survivor in devastated Colo. town: We haven't had a chance to grieve

Sep. 17, 2013 at 10:18 AM ET

The Colorado mountain community of Jamestown, just northwest of Boulder, is literally teetering on the edge of existence.

Flooding in the region has left numerous houses stranded. Remnants of other homes, barely standing after already torn apart by powerful rapids, threaten to crumble into waters that have washed away a third of the town.

“From the beginning of town to the end of town, just devastated,” the town’s mayor, Tara Schoedinger, told NBC’s Miguel Almaguer.

Schoedinger was one of about 40 people who stayed behind while others were airlifted to safety. Roads in and out of town have been inaccessible for the past week. What used to be a 20-minute drive from Boulder now takes more than three hours.

Anne Breiler watched the homes of her neighbors float away during the storms. She also lost a friend to a mud slide.

“We haven’t even had a chance to grieve our friend that died. We’ve been dealing with survival,” she said.

The National Guard has been air dropping supplies to Jamestown and other isolated communities while power companies and road construction crews assess the damage.

Rebuilding the community will be a long process but Breiler said her community will be ready to start repairs soon.

“I don’t know how, but I know they will,” she said. “There’s a lot of spirit here.”

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