Thousands of residents have poured out of the mountain towns around Boulder, Colo., over the past week, fleeing unprecedented floods that tore down hillsides, carried away homes and piled slabs of highway like stacks of books.
There's a video making the viral rounds on the Internet sharing a hopeful but also melancholy moment. It features Colorado resident Mark Changaris sitting at his piano after a mudslide devastated his home.
Changaris says his roommate had just helped some friends evacuate their home when the slide hit their house. Another video shows a torrent of water rushing through the house and down the stairwell like a river.
When the water subsided, Changaris decided to sit at the piano and play a song - Tears for Fears' Mad World.
"It's a beautiful piano, and it's been a part of my life for the past few years," Changaris told NPR. "I guess in some sense I was saying goodbye. In another sense, it felt good to play, to just be in the moment and let the rest of the craziness drop off. It also helped make me feel more normal, that in the face of something so outwardly bizarre, something old and familiar could warm up the place."
Changris' roommate, Maren Keeley, who turned on her camera while he played, said:
"He loves the home, he's lived there for almost 4 years. He loves the piano. We needed something beautiful amidst the destruction and mud, rocks, and debris. Watching him play was the first time I actually felt sad and heartbroken by the events..."