"We watched it float down the road," she said.
Nearly 18,000 homes around the state have been damaged.
"I think there is still going to be a lot of shock and disbelief," said Matthew Applebaum, the mayor of Boulder. "The amount of destruction, the damage to people's houses, the damage to neighborhoods, the damage to roads, the damage to our much beloved open space -- it's pretty significant and, as I said, it's extraordinarily widespread."
Like many, Casey Korbely wants to return home. But pictures from his neighborhood in Boulder County show cars buried in mud, and a huge hole that was once a road.
"The cops and firefighters said it would probably take two to three weeks before they can build a bridge and we can get our vehicles out. "
But Korbely is determined to get back -- by hiking. An uphill climb ... fueled by a Colorado spirit that doesn't give up.
In Boulder, the Schuler family surveyed the incredible damage to their home, inundated by water and mud. They live in the flood plain, but have insurance.
"It totally took all the furniture and moved it from one room to the other, so it was whipping through the house," Kim Schuler told CNN as he showed the damage.
The resident said friends have helped them clean up the muck and prepare for the next step.
"It does give you a perspective on humanity," Schuler said. "There's a lot of nice people that you don't know that don't ask for anything of thanks. They just came in, they helped and they left."
More than 6,400 Colorado residents in the disaster have applied for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and more than $430,000 has been approved in individual assistance such as temporary housing and home repairs, FEMA said Tuesday.