LYONS, Colo. (CBS4)– Some people who were evacuated from Lyons because of devastating flooding were allowed to return for a few hours on Wednesday. Only business owners were allowed back into the town, residents will be allowed back in on Thursday.
The Boulder County Office of Emergency Management said those business owners will be allowed to visit their businesses, or what was left, and view the damage.
A checkpoint was set up at North 53rd Street. Not only business owners were found in line but restoration crews and U.S. Forest crews carrying items for road and bridge repairs.
The St. Vrain River has cut off the entire town. Last week what used to be a creek on the edge of town turned into a raging torrent and washed out all the bridges in and out of the Town of Lyons.
Some 7,500 homes were damaged or destroyed. CBS4 and other media crews were not allowed to view those neighborhoods so homeowners would be the first to visit them.
On Wednesday people were bussed in as far as they could and then they walked across huge debris fields to get into town.
“We used to walk this way to take our daughter to the park right here that used to be here. And it’s not here anymore,” said Lyons resident Chris Cullen.
“It’s sad,” said Christy Cullen as tears flowed down her face.
Some roads and the sewer system were damaged by the flooding. The town hall buildings were severely damaged when the town needed them the most.
Lyons Mayor Julie Van Domelen was in Africa for work when she was notified of the massive flooding that destroyed her town.
“There was that moment when you say, ‘Scotty, beam me up.’ How fast can you get halfway across the world?” said Van Domelen.
A total of 46 people remain unaccounted for in the Lyons community.
Residents who wish to visit their property on Thursday must pick up a pass in order to be allowed past the checkpoint.
Passes can be picked up at the Life Bridge Church in Longmont.
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.