LYONS, Colo. (CBS4) – For a lot of Colorado flood evacuees the biggest concern they have is getting back to their homes to see what’s left.
Hundreds of Lyons residents were given that chance on Tuesday, although the return for many of them had to be done partially on foot.
Authorities gave special temporary passes to residents like Annie Mannering to return to the scene of what was one of the worst-hit areas during last week’s historic flooding.
Mannering had fled her Lyons home not knowing what she would return to.
“By Monday I was starting to shake and cry,” she told CBS4.
Mannering’s home is right by the creek, but it’s up on a hill.
“I hope its still intact,” she said as she walked along with a CBS4 crew that she invited to come along with her on her temporary return home.
The CBS4 crew rode along with Mannering through the roadblock in Longmont in a car. Authorities allowed CBS4 pass through because Mannering was giving permission.
Travel on Highway 66 from Longmont to Lyons and into downtown was passable, but only minutes from downtown the highway proved to be too treacherous to continue on and they had to park and continue on on foot.
Huge chucks of the normally busy Highway 36 just west of town have been washed away.
Mannering and others with passes were forced to walk along narrow paths next to what was once the two-lane freeway. Sometimes they had to tiptoe around bushes next to the cliffsides.
The walk took two hours. At the end of it there stood her house, in good shape.
“It looks like I left it,” she said.
Her neighbors’ homes weren’t all so lucky. A landslide damaged one and the raging river got to the other.
“It’s the kind of time where you learn a whole lot about yourself,” Mannering said.
Mannering’s time at the house was limited, and it was hard to depart. She was able to gather some valuable items that she didn’t have time to gather up last time during her hurried departure when the flooding was going on.
On the hike back Mannering told CBS4 she plans on canceling an upcoming vacation to Greece because of the ordeal.
“I don’t feel a whole lot like being around water,” she said.
Mannering is currently staying with a family member and is looking for a place for herself and her cat to stay. She figures it will be weeks or months before the roads that lead to her house are repaired.
Colorado Floods: How To Help
The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.