LYONS, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents of Lyons got a full rundown on Thursday night on just how bad the damage in their hometown is.

Officials held a meeting in neighboring city Longmont for a group that was comprised of nearly half of the evacuated town’s population. The meeting was so packed that it filled an outer corridor.

The full impact of the storm is finally revealing its permanent changes to the Boulder County town. The flood waters carved a new path for the St. Vrain River that flows through it. It is now 200 feet from where it was flowing just a week ago.

Damage from flooding in Lyons on Sept. 19, 2013. (credit: CBS)

Damage from flooding in Lyons on Sept. 19, 2013. (credit: CBS)

Crews hope to restore minimum electricity to Lyons by Saturday but there’s no timeline for restoration of the sewer system and of communications services. For that reason, officials don’t want residents to stay at their homes.

And as repairs begin to fix running water, city managers learned the water supply is now contaminated with E. coli. Finding the source of that contamination may be extremely difficult, because it could come from multiple sources.

The water lines in town also move with the changed landscape.

It could be months before many residents can return to live in the town on a full time basis. Wanda Reed is one of those people. She received a temporary pass to see what is left of her home on Thursday.

“We saw the sign today that said it’s unsafe, and we literally can’t get to our backyard. We’re pretty sure it’s going to be a loss,” she said.

Reed told CBS4 understands it will take time for things to get back to normal.

“We’re coming home. We’ll find a piece of land. We will rebuild,” she said.

Residents will continue to be given temporary passes to return to their homes in Lyons on Friday. Officials pleaded with residents that they keep those return visits as brief as possible.

Work has also begun on flood damaged Highway 36 which leads into town.

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.


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