TODAY   |  September 15, 2013

Eagle Scout helps Colorado neighbors clean up

Residents are beginning to clean up as the water in some parts of the Boulder area start to recede. For one local man, that’s a chance to help out. TODAY’s Dylan Dreyer reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in some parts of the boulder area, the water is starting to recede. that means the cleanup can begin for people back home. dylan dreyer is also in boulder with more on that. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, erica. you know from flooded basements to homes completely full of mud, the people in this area really have a lot of work ahead of them. yesterday i met one man from this area who has lived through three natural disasters , and now he is going door to door helping any way he can. while some areas remain cut off and are bracing for more rain, in other parts the cleanup is getting under way. 23-year-old nathan wheeler hit the streets of his community looking to help.

>> i know there are people in need who don't have a voice, who are not able to get the help they need.

>> reporter: after being evacuate friday the hard hit town of lyons, nathan is using social media to connect with friends, even strangers.

>> when nathan was available, it was like, yes, i can certainly use the help.

>> reporter: he lost his own home to a wildfire in 2010 , then lived through super storm sandy in new york last year.

>> something about sitting at home not doing anything that really bugs me.

>> reporter: so he is doing something, even the hardest task.

>> they're up here on the road loading wheelbarrows full of debris.

>> reporter: with washed out roads and damage all around, it could take weeks if not months. this eagle scout says he'll continue to do whatever he can to help amidst one of the biggest natural disasters this area has ever seen. there are so many people displaced from their homes. keep in mind these people also have pets. it's not just the dogs and cats that are filling up the shelters in the area, but it's also the farm animals , the horses and the cattle and the national guard is saying a lot of these animals are stressed. when the farmers have to leave their homes because there is so much farmland that's been flooded around here, these animals, unfortunately have nowhere to go. it's a very sad scene when you see these animals stranded in floodwaters like this. now, i was walking up through the mountains yesterday and there was a tree that actually went into someone's garage from a mudslide and then the deer were wandering into the garage eating from the tree. even the animals in their natural habitat are stressed and unfortunately have also lost their homes. they, too, don't have anywhere to go.

>> just terrible. wheel learn more and more about that. dylan, off the top, we talked about the waters receding in boulder. what about the actual rivers themselves in the region? have they begun to recede at all?

>> reporter: they have begun to recede a little bit. this was at one point where boulder creek had come up across the banks. at one point early friday morning it was at major flood stage at around eight feet. it has since receded quite a bit, down to around 2 1/2 feet. there is below flood stage . there's two major rivers still in flood stage at this time. that's the south platte river near kersey and the big thompson river at drake. we are still seeing two rivers still in major flood stage . any additional rainfall we see is only going to make matters worse. the ground here is totally saturated. unfortunately it does look like we're going to see some more rain in this area, especially this afternoon and into this evening as well. last night we had downpours move through boulder, enough to pick up two inches of rain. i tried to drive right through that and the roads immediately get flooded out. you can see most of the rain this morning is west of denver. we do have a pretty good chance of seeing perhaps another two to three inches of rainfall with some of these downpours. same goes for tomorrow. then as we go into the middle of the week, we'll lose that threat of showers and storms. finally wednesday into the end of the week, we should get some sunshine, temperatures should warm up. it will at least help to dry things up a little bit. we're going to have to see what happens later this afternoon and tonight because another two to three inches is just too much rain for this area and they just can't handle it.

>> the last thing they want