Residents in Lyons allowed to return home Thursday

Lyons, Colo. - Residents will be allowed to return to Lyons on Thursday.

Business owners in Lyons were given their first look at the flood damage on Wednesday.

Despite the flood surge, Wayne Anderson’s two businesses:  The Fork Restaurant and the Spirit Hound Distillery on Main Street made it through the epic flood.

He and his employees spent part of Wednesday cleaning up the mess.

"I feel totally energized.  I know everybody else does too,” said Anderson.

Across Lyons, car after car is covered in mud.  Support beams are holding homes in place.

Homeowners will be given access on Thursday.

People who reenter their homes are still under no-flush and boil water orders.

They will be allowed access to their homes from dusk to dawn but there will be a "hard closure" at dusk, after which people won't be allowed in or out of that area after dark, said Commander Heidi Prentup, with the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.

"We estimate, based on the perimeter we put, which is roughly equivalent now to the 500-year flood event, there's upwards of 12,000 structures threatened. To date, we have assessed, for single residences, there's 166 single residences that are damaged, 120 of those are destroyed," said Dan Dallas, Incident Commander from Rocky Mountain Incident Team B.

Dallas said 60 commercial properties are in the flood zone. Of those, 28 are damaged and one is destroyed.

If you go home and you find your home damaged or destroyed, register with FEMA for a grant. You can register by calling 1-800-621-3362 or going to http://DisasterAssistance.gov or m.fema.gov.

FEMA spokesman Ricardo Zuniga said more than 6,400 people and businesses are already registered, and have asked for $430,000 in assistance.

The FEMA grants are to meet basic needs, such as food, housing or immediate repairs, and not to fully compensate people for rebuilding their homes.

A town hall meeting for Lyons residents will be held Thursday evening at the Longmont Civic Center at 7pm to discuss long term plans.

There were 215 Boulder County residents airlifted on Monday and 11 people evacuated by ground.

To date, 1,700 residents in Boulder County have been evacuated, and there were 241 in shelters. Roughly 109 people remain unaccounted and three confirmed fatalities as of Tuesday afternoon.

Homes are being flagged by urban search and rescue teams going door-to-door through the county,  checking to see if people are inside.  The colored flags are placed on the house or mailbox to designate whether it had been searched.

Residents who are returning are asked to leave the flags on the house, and the green strip of tape on the ground or driveway, until notified by the sheriff's office.  The green tape is so that when helicopters go over, they can see from the air that the house has been checked.

Highway 119 in Boulder Canyon is closed because of the structural integrity of the road. It's not safe to travel on, said Prenupt.

Those who live in Canyon Park and Canyon Side drive can be allowed up because their homes are before the closure.

"We're asking cyclists and runners and hikers to stay out of the canyon, it's just not safe," Prenupt said.
Sarah Huntley, with the city of Boulder, said the city is working on the sewage issues that have plagued some home.  The city is aware that homeowners are experiencing sewer backups in their homes, and crews out, trying to clear baseball-size rocks from the system.

She reminded the rest of Colorado that downtown Boulder businesses are open and the road to downtown Boulder are open.

However, open space and mountain parks in Boulder remain closed.

The city and county created a website for information on flood recovery --  boulderfloodinfo.net

Ryan Huff, with the University of Colorado Police Department, said 80 buildings on the CU campus had some damage, but most suffered small water damage. The flood did not affect labs or classroom.

Boulder Creek was running at 1,132 cubic feet per second, which is substantially less than what it was at its peak, but residents are still advised to stay away from the creek.

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