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Guard members evacuate more than 2,000 from Colorado flooding

U.S. soldiers and airmen with the Colorado National Guard respond to floods in Boulder County, Colo., Sept. 12, 2013. The Colorado National Guard was activated to provide assistance to people affected by massive flooding along Colorado's Front Range.

WASHINGTON — Some 560 members of the National Guard have evacuated more than 2,100 people stranded by historic flooding in Colorado.

Emergency officials say four people are confirmed dead and more than 1,200 people have not been heard from.

On Friday, Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed Brig. Gen. Peter J. Byrne, Colorado Air National Guard, as dual-status commander, supporting FEMA and Colorado’s emergency management officials, for the purpose of combating floods in Colorado.

“Active duty forces, through the coordination and direction of U.S. Northern Command, are complementing these National Guard assets in the overall response to the flood relief efforts,” according to a Monday statement from the Department of Defense. “Seven helicopters from the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson have been conducting search-and-rescue operations under immediate response authority.”

As of Monday morning, the 4th ID had rescued more than 700 residents, to include the rescue of 85 elementary school students at a camp near Jamestown, the statement noted.

Buckley AFB has been designated as a FEMA staging area. The governor has declared 14 counties disaster areas.

On Sunday, even Guard members needed rescuing, when a mix of 51 Colorado National Guardsmen, first responders and civilians were stranded near Lyons when their half-dozen Light Medium Tactical Vehicles could not ford floodwaters.

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