National News

Sep 23, 2013 11:54 AM by NBC News

Colorado Floods: Bird's Eye View

(KUSA) Paramotor pilot Nathan Finneman recently got a bird's-eye view of the massive damage caused by Colorado's recent flooding.

"I've never seen something like that before ...you see whole neighborhoods in one section and they're completely gone ...to me I was speechless the whole flight to see that area where there was beautiful houses and others just one giant flood area," said Finneman.

Paramotoring, also known as powered paragliding, is a paraglider wing with an engine on the back that creates thrust to propel a person forward.

"The biggest eye-opener was the fact that we go flying in that area because there's an airport near it and a week before it was perfectly clean ...the roads looked great," he added. "The day that we flew one section of the flood was a quarter-mile wide and there's a guy right in the middle of the section in an inner-tube just floating down the flood section. He was just paddling away."

Finneman and another paramotor pilot flew over 48 miles.

"The toxicity of the water was pretty high which blew me away that someone was floating in it. I've never seen so many cars and furniture just floating and then there's this one section of highway ...it was almost like an episode of the walking dead because there were no cars on it ...there was furniture, tree trunks ...it was just really eerie and it was that way for several miles too," Finneman said.

We now know that close to 2,000 square miles have been flooded.

But until you get in the air and see just how widespread it really is, Finneman says that's when it becomes reality.

"I had an idea I was going to see a lot of destruction but when I got up there it, was the overall size. And not even that, just the power...there was a massive bridge that was three lanes wide and it was totally turned on its side. To think how much force it took to make the bridge turn on its side was just mind-boggling and it was a wakeup call just to show you how powerful Mother Nature is."

Finneman has been paramotoring for years and has flown all over the U.S., Europe and Jamaica.

Only about a dozen people in Colorado paramotor. They all wear reserves.

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