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The overflowing St. Vrain River swamps a structure and a piece of heavy machinery following overnight flash flooding near Lyons, Colo. on Sept. 12. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Colorado has been pounded by severe rainfall, causing widespread flooding that has collapsed homes, washed away roads and highways with landslides, and killed three people.

An initial estimate released over the weekend by the Colorado Office of Emergency management says 1,500 homes have been destroyed and about 17,500 have been damaged so far.

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