Man rescued from rushing water of Westerly Creek near Colfax and Akron

DENVER - Rushing water in Westerly Creek swept a man two blocks downstream before he was rescued, police say.

The man and a dog were swept into a pipe near 13th and Xenia.

They were pulled from the water near E. Colfax Ave. and Akron St., Denver Police tweeted. They also said he was alive and is being treated. His condition was classified as "serious."

Denver Animal control was dispatched to care for the dog.

This rescue came just minutes after Governor John Hickenlooper advised everyone in Colorado to stay away from the flood waters.

"Stay out of your vehicle if possible, stay home if your home is a safe place," he said.

The governor also cautioned everyone about the danger lurking in the water, saying, "This water is filled with debris, sand; it is almost like liquid cement."

Broadcast live from the State Capitol, Hickenlooper commented with awe on the scope of the storm. He also tried to temper expectations about the coming days.

"This is not going to get fixed in a week," he said. "We have lost a great deal of infrastructure and it's going to take many weeks to rebuild all of this."

Hickenlooper signed a disaster declaration Thursday, and President Barack Obama authorized assistance a few hours later.

About 100 National Guard troops were activated to help, along with some helicopters and heavy vehicles with high clearance. Many were sent to assist in Boulder County, especially with the evacuation of the Town of Lyons which has been cut off for about two days.

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