LYONS, Colo. (AP) — By air and by land, the rescue of hundreds of Coloradoans stranded by epic mountain flooding was accelerating as food and water supplies ran low, while thousands more were driven from their homes on the plains as debris-filled rivers became muddy seas inundating towns and farms miles from the Rockies.

For the first time since the harrowing mountain floods began Wednesday, Colorado got its first broad view of the devastation — and the reality of what is becoming a long-term disaster is setting in. The flooding has affected parts of a 4,500-square-mile area, almost the size of Connecticut.

The Guard had evacuated total of 518 people by ground by Saturday morning, and additional helicopters were going to be put in the air to aid with the rescue efforts, Master Sgt. Cheresa Theiral said.