By Rick Sallinger

LYONS, Colo. (CBS4)– Five years ago this week, torrential rains flooded the St. Vrain creeks, cutting off and seriously damaging the Town of Lyons.

The rain and floodwaters were merciless in September 2013. They wiped out bridges, left vehicles stranded, and virtually wiped out the affordable housing in Lyons.

Damage from flooding in Lyons in September 2013. (credit: CBS)

Cassie Walters remembers it well.

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“It was quite devastating seeing all the people, friends and family get evacuated out of this town,” she said.

The National Guard helps a resident in Lyons on Sept. 12, 2013. (credit: Army National Guard Photo by Sgt. Joseph K. VonNida)

Five years later the St. Vrain has regained her composure and Cassie and her 7-year-old daughter Zoey will soon be moving into a new home. It should be completed by Christmas.

Damage from flooding in Lyons in September 2013. (credit: CBS)

With the price of homes skyrocketing across Colorado, what is taking place is good will at work. The duplex for Cassie and her daughter is one of six homes here being built by Habitat for Humanity.

(credit: CBS)

John Lovell, the Director of Development for Habitat for Humanity of the St. Vrain Valley, says several of those moving in literally lost their homes.

(credit: CBS)

“We had three of our families living in trailer parks when the flood came through their homes were totally destroyed.”

Cassie Walters (credit: CBS)

The rains of 2013 changed the course of the St. Vrain and the course of this town.

(credit: CBS)

As part of qualifying for this new home, Cassie must put in 250 hours of work on it. Well worth it for her and her daughter.

(credit: CBS)

“She’s so excited we are talking about it every day how excited she is ‘when are we moving in what’s it happening mom.”

(credit: CBS)

Her daughter had two words for those who have are giving them a new start, “Thank you.”

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.


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