Historic Floods Couldn’t Sink Community Of Lyons

The fire chief and deputy worked hand in hand, using the town’s flood plan map to get people out of areas they knew would soon be cut off.

For Connie and Neil Sullivan, one of the biggest challenges in the flooding was getting Neil back into town. They own the St. Vrain Market, one of the few grocery stores for miles.

Neil was in Texas for business, Connie is one of the town trustees. She started receiving phone calls from other trustees about the rising waters while she was home alone with their young children.

St. Vrain Market owners Neal and Connie Sullivan (credit: CBS)

St. Vrain Market owners Neal and Connie Sullivan (credit: CBS)

At a little after midnight, she got the call that the sirens would be sounded. Evacuees were brought to an elementary school.

Then came a call for help; the evacuees and rescuers need supplies.

“We had a big shipment come in Monday,” Connie said. “But I can’t go, I’m home alone with the kids.”

Connie asked to have someone pick up the key to the market.

That “someone” was Parker. “I picked up the key from her and her exact words were ‘Take whatever you need and we’ll figure it out later on.”

Boulder County Sheriff Sgt. Kevin Parker (credit: CBS)

Boulder County Sheriff Sgt. Kevin Parker (credit: CBS)

That first night volunteers and firefighters started grabbing supplies like water out of the St. Vrain Market.

One of those volunteers actually worked at the market and noticed the flood waters had actually reached the store.

For Neil, the day turned into a nightmare. It had already been raining when he left and Connie kept him informed by text.

“The last text I remember after hours of communication with her was ‘Get home now,’ ” he said.

He changed his flight and headed home the next morning. A text was waiting when he landed at Denver International Airport.

Don’t bother trying to get in, we’re isolated and the roads are shut off.

But it would take more than closed roads to keep Neil out of Lyons.


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