As rescuers broke through to flood-ravaged Colorado towns, they issued a stern warning Saturday to anyone thinking of staying behind: Leave now or be prepared to endure weeks without electricity, running water and basic supplies.

National Guard helicopters and truck convoys carried the admonition into paralyzed canyon communities where thousands of stranded residents were eager to escape the Rocky Mountain foothills. But not everybody was willing to go. Dozens of people in the isolated community of Jamestown wanted to stay to watch over their homes.

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Authorities made clear that residents who chose not to leave might not get another chance for a while. Rescuers won’t go back for people who insist on staying, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said.

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