Reporting Anjali Hemphill
DENVER (CBS13) – The historic floods in Colorado killed four people, while more than 170 are still missing. Among the stranded were 32 Sacramento high school students.
They are now safe and sound, waiting to catch a flight back home.
All 32 teens on the trip and their two chaperones are spending Saturday night in the Denver International Airport. The group is all smiles now that they are safe, after spending several days stranded at a remote ranch while nearby towns were evacuated because of massive flooding.
“We couldn’t go down the roads. Rocks were in the way and it was flooded,” said Beatrice Borba.
Borba, along with a group of Sacramento high students from the Options for Youth charter school, was on a 10-day field trip to Rocky Mountain Pathways Ranch in Allenstown when the storm hit.
“I just hope, pray, she’s safe,” said Barbara Carruthers, Borba’s mother.
Carruthers spoke to CBS13 Friday after learning her daughter wouldn’t be coming home that night. To make matters worse, Carruthers couldn’t reach her daughter.
“It was a little scary, and then the landlines went down. So we couldn’t call. We didn’t know what was going on. That made it even worse,” said Borba.
The group planned to take a bus to the airport Saturday night, but worried about more storms on the way. So the staff at the ranch decided to take a chance and piled everyone into their personal cars and drove down the mountain.
“If we didn’t go right then and there, there was going to be another rainstorm and we would have gotten stuck for four or five more days,” said Borba.
Luckily, an alternate route shutdown from the storms reopened, and took them to safer roads.
They are now homeward bound thanks to some helpful Colorado locals, who took a chance when they could.
“We are thankful that we took that window of opportunity and we made it safe,” said chaperone Melissa.
The group’s blog says the Denver airport hospitality is taking care of them and has provided a group room for them to spend the night in.
The group is expected to arrive back in Sacramento Sunday afternoon.