"It was terrifying," Smith said.
Jonathan Linenberger described a Noah's Ark-style evacuation as he, his fiancee, four dogs and three cats greeted the National Guard truck.
"We had to go (through) knee-deep water, at least. We had to wade our animals across into the truck to get them there," said Linenberger. "That was the first thing you can grab, your loved ones -- and that's what we have."
The National Guard also was evacuating the entire population -- 285 people -- from the town of Jamestown by helicopter, CNN affiliate KCNC-TV reported.
In Larimer County, Sheriff Justin Smith surveyed the heavily damaged Big Thompson Canyon by air Friday. Some people remain stranded in homes there, he said, "How we're going to get them out -- it's going to take a damn long time."
However, he said the break in the rain allowed school buses to begin evacuating students who had been stranded at a school.