Within the last 24 hours, some residents in the flood-stricken towns in Colorado were able to return to their damaged neighborhoods.
The Office of Emergency Management confirmed the flood fatalities count at eight lives. At one point, Boulder County officials reported over 1,500 people missing. Over 12,000 people across the state had to be evacuated from the 1,500 destroyed homes with an estimated 17,500 more sustaining damage.
The air evacuation efforts may have been the largest the United States has seen since Hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast in 2005
For the people of Lyons, CO in Boulder County, familiar streets were submerged with murky water and the streets were lined with debris, abandoned vehicles, and snapped power poles.
With a population of slightly over 2,000 residents, many people experienced the wrath of the flooding and heavy rainfall. The damage was so severe that town administrator Victoria Simonsen told citizens to stay out of the town.
The damage of structures in Lyons ranges from minor to serious to structures completely vanishing.
Lyons-native Hadassah Schmitt said via email her mother’s home is “unlivable.”
Water, electric and gas services could be shut down for multiple months, town officials told the Longmont Times-Call. The annual general fund of Lyons is around $1 million. Recovery in most Boulder Counties is expected to be over $5 million.
A Lyons recovery fund has been established by the Lyons Community Foundation. To donate to the Lyons community, visit lyonscf.org.
—This story was written and compiled by Beau Tiongson. Photo credits to Matthew Jonas // Longmont Time-Call