As rain continued to come down at Boulder Municipal Airport early Monday morning, six 10-man Federal Emergency Management Agency rescue teams climbed up into the backs of National Guard trucks and prepared to head into the foothills.
"We're just trying to get some boots on the ground today," said Craig Outzen with the Utah Type-1 FEMA team.
Outzen and his team were sent into the Lefthand Canyon area to begin the process of going door-to-door checking on residents and evacuating those who needed assistance.
As the crews came up to a house, they assessed it for damage and checked to see if any residents were home. Each home was marked with a piece of neon green paper so other teams would knew they had been checked.
In some cases, crews found residents safely stashed away and prepared to ride out the storm.
Lydia Tirpak said her house in the 4200 block of Lee Hill Drive saw some minor water damage to its roof, but she had plenty of food and water and cell phone reception.
"We didn't have it nearly as bad as other people," she said. "We have a really good supply of food, so we're good for a couple of days."
Outzen said he was in Fourmile Canyon on Sunday, and many residents there also elected to stay behind.
"We're trying to encourage them to evacuate," Outzen said. "But some of them are well prepared to stay. We had a guy yesterday who said he had four weeks' worth of food."
As Outzen's team was talking to Tirpak, one man on a motorcycle pulled up and said he was running out of food and water but didn't want to leave his horses, knowing he wouldn't be allowed back up the road.
Tirpak said she and her neighbors pooled food and resources, but knowing they couldn't get down the mountain to help was the hardest part of waiting out the flooding.
"We want to help, we have able hands and able backs, but we can't get into town," she said. "I just hope everyone is OK."
More than 180 people remain unaccounted for since the flooding began, and the FEMA teams are recording names of people they meet in the flood areas in the hopes of whittling down that list. Accompanying the team were several live-search dogs, trained to detect live people -- not bodies -- under rubble.
"At this point the priority is recovery," Outzen said.
More than 200 people were rescued Monday from flood ravaged areas, adding to the more than 1,200 people that were evacuated on Saturday. About 500 of those brought to safety Saturday were by truck out of Lyons, but many others were airlifted out of isolated foothills communities by military helicopters operating out of Boulder Municipal Airport.
Officials are saying it is the largest aerial rescue since Hurricane Katrina. After weather hampered the operation Sunday, conditions allowed the crews to resume the search Monday.
Outzen responded with his FEMA team to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He said that in any emergency, federal task forces are important because local crews are not only tired, but have their own families and homes to worry about.
"When we get here, they are not only tired, their emotional gas tank is empty," he said. "And that's when mistakes start happening. We don't have to worry about that, so we can focus on our job."