National Guard working to evacuate isolated Town of Lyons in Boulder County

Sewer and fresh water service disrupted

LYONS, Colo. - The National Guard is conducting evacuations in the Town of Lyons in Boulder County.

Lyons was completely isolated by flood waters Thursday. Military vehicles were used starting at approximately 7 p.m. to shuttle people out of the town.

Conditions were reevaluated Friday morning and it was determined the National Guard troops could reenter the town to continue the work. The Boulder County Office of Emergency Management said other troops were using heavy, high-clearance vehicles.

The Associated Press reported that one of the people evacuated by the National Guard troops Thursday was a woman in a wheelchair. Ambulances were waiting to transport those who needed medical attention. More Guard trucks stood prepared to head back to the isolated town.

The National Guard was activated following a disaster declaration issued by Governor John Hickenlooper. He said resources sent to Boulder County included seven high-water rescue teams, Blackhawk helicopters, three swift water rescue teams and a search and rescue team.

Thursday, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle had said people in the town were huddled on high ground.

"They're completely isolated at this point. There is no access in or out," he said during a press conference. "They've lost their sewer plant, they've lost their fresh water, lost their market."

While Pelle reported two confirmed deaths elsewhere in his county and fears others will be discovered, he had no injuries or deaths to report in the Town of Lyons.

"I have four deputies current there in the town that are in communication with our command post, providing us information," the sheriff said.

A boil water order was issued for residents of Lyons by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

"Do not drink the water without boiling it first. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for three (3) minutes, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water," the department wrote.

Nearly 100 soldiers and airmen assigned to the Windsor Readiness Center, Buckley Air Force Base and the Boulder, Fort Collins, and Denver Armories are involved in the efforts throughout the state.

“Supporting our neighbors in their time of need is one of the most rewarding missions the military has to offer,” said Air National Guard Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, commander of the Colorado National Guard in a statement posted online. “Having readiness centers in communities such as these ensures we provide rapid for our communities.”

Hickenlooper said neighboring states have also offered assistance.

"We are in the process now of recognizing what types of assets we need," he said.

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