TODAY

TODAY   |  September 17, 2013

Colo. flood survivor: We haven’t had time to grieve

The small community of Jamestown, Colo. was among one of the hardest hit in the flooding that has ravaged part of the state. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer  heads into the town, which was inaccessible by foot or car as the floods raged.

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>> thank you, another major story we're covering this morning. the devastating floods in colorado. the death toll has risen to 8 people. the latest victim, an 83-year-old man. the number of missing is dropping down to 600 people. the community of jamestown has been inaccessible for more than a week. miguel almaguer and his crew made the final stretch on foot to reach the people there. he's with us now from boulder, good morning.

>> good morning. getting into jamestown is so treacherous. the air national guard said when they were air lifting local residents it was the best and last chance to get out. all public roads leading into the community are shut down which should be about a 20 minute drive, took us well over 3 hours.

>> reporter: winding through colorado's front range, the journey to jamestown ends in a road to nowhere . to reach a community literally cutoff from the world, the only way in is on foot. and once you're here, it's clear why so many have left. returning home for the first time monday, chad was among those air lifted out by the national guard .

>> you left. you got on one of those. why do you think so many people stayed behind?

>> mostly because they didn't want to leave their houses. they didn't want to leave and have their house gone.

>> reporter: the mayor is one of 40 that remained behind. for a week she lived without power or running water. neither will likely be restored until the roads are.

>> from the beginning of town to the end of town, just devastated.

>> reporter: a third of jamestown has been washed away. the james creek which fills this otherwise silent city with noise, now cuts the town in half. what homes it didn't swallow, it now divides.

>> the full impact is finally coming in.

>> reporter: during the storm, ann watched her neighbor's homes float away . she lost her friend, killed in a mud slide.

>> we haven't even had a chance to grieve our friend. we've been dealing with survival.

>> reporter: this morning, the remote mountain communities like jamestown are literally teetering on the edge. but even in a sea of destruction, they find hope and resolve.

>> how does your community rebuild?

>> i don't know how but i know they will. there's a lot of spirit here.

>> with the national guard air dropping supplies into communities like jamestown , we did see construction crews trying to work their way in. but with do know it will take months to rebuild those roads, matt.

>> all right. miguel almaguer has been covering that story for more than a week now. thank you very much.