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Concerns Rise In Lyons About Another Possible Flood

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LYONS, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado’s Front Range saw its first round of severe weather this season on Wednesday, and some people living in the areas clobbered by last year’s flooding are getting nervous.

In flood torn communities like Lyons, residents like Kathy Burks worry new rainstorms will make the river rise again.

“There is a little bit of PTSD, I think, where it is pretty unnerving to think ‘Wow, it could really rain,’ ” she said.

Kathy Burks

Kathy Burks (credit: CBS)

Burks now lives just a few feet from the same river that destroyed her home in September. The sandbags her family piled up outside their house just in case the St. Vrain River rises may only stand for comfort.

“It is better than nothing, but I think more would be necessary to make it feel more safe,” she said.

Burks has lived in Lyons for more than 45 years and says she didn’t consider leaving her hometown after her mobile home was destroyed in the Riverbend neighborhood. She’s now living at her aunt and uncle’s house closer to downtown.

“We’ve lived here long enough to know that flooding doesn’t happen that often,” she said. “But you never know from day to day.”

Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen told CBS4 that if floodwaters head towards Lyons residents should get a warning about 20 minutes beforehand.

Lyons Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen

Lyons Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen speaks with CBS4’s Stan Bush. (credit: CBS)

“If they see normal weather happening they should be confident they should be okay,” she said, but the loose banks of the river are a big concern if a severe storm drops a large amount of rain.

“If there was a significant event there are no guarantees. The ground is not stable yet,” she said.

Nearly 50 families in the Lyons area have asked the government for buyouts to leave their homes for good. Many others are rebuilding.

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