A flood-destroyed car lies submerged in mud and debris in
Jamestown, Colorado, after a flash flood destroyed much of
the town. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
An ice-cold wall of water rose so quickly that expat
Suzanne Morris had seconds to escape her Colorado apartment in
the middle of the night.
Ms Morris, formerly of Auckland, and her American husband
Jeff Voreis are among tens of thousands of people left
homeless in the city of Boulder, at the base of the Rocky
Mountains, by flash floods which have hit the region since
The couple had been monitoring a small stream near their
ground floor apartment and the water had been rising through
the night, but they were completely unprepared for the surge
"It was like a tsunami, it just kept coming and coming. It
begins to flood and you think it will stop at 2 feet or 3
feet but it doesn't. It was a torrent," Ms Morris told the
"It was cold and dirty and just full of debris ... our ranch
slider shattered as it came rushing through and ... the
velocity of it was really unbelievable, the water itself
punctured holes in the dry wall and it was like a fire
hydrant into our neighbour's apartment.
"We had a couple of seconds to figure out that we had to
It was about 1am when the couple fled their apartment and
heard their neighbour screaming for help. They waded through
waist-deep water to her bedroom, where she was trapped.
"We had to bust her door open a little bit to let her out.
After we got her out, the door slammed shut on my hand and I
was stuck in the door for a little bit, I thought I was going
to die down there, it was terrifying."
Ms Morris, a speech therapist who has lived in the US since
2005, was lucky not to break any bones. Mr Voreis needed
stitches for cuts to his legs and arms. The couple's
apartment will take up to six months to put right.
Ms Morris and her husband have been staying with friends and
are unable to work as most of the city remains underwater.
At least four people have been killed since the floods began
last week. There are reports of more than 1000 people still
awaiting rescue in some areas and more than 19,000 homes have