Colorado Residents who have taken the time to venture back to the flood-ravaged areas of Lyons found a scene that likely seemed wholly unreal. Family keepsakes were gone, homes were destroyed, and food was spoiled.
Glory Simpson, who had her family salvaging what they could of the hand-made quilts and family photos, summed it up by saying “It’s just sickening.”
E. coli has been found within the drinking water in the area, and it could be more than six months before the town is even habitable again. Still, residents appear willing to rough it while they are able to stay in the area.
There were millions of gallons of raw sewage that have been released around the area due to the septic systems being torn apart, said Steve Gunderson, director of the state’s water quality control division. Those within the communities have been forced to boil water to avoid illness.
The number of dead has risen to seven, with three individuals still missing and presumed to have died. Many of the unaccounted-for individuals dropped recently thanks to door-to-door searches and restored lines of communication.
“Right now we’re just moving from the life-saving mode to the life-sustaining mode,” said Kevin Kline, who directs the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Kline said it was too early to estimate the dollar damage but added, “It’s going to be big.”
The governor stated that the reconstruction efforts in the area will be overseen by executive chairman of the global information company (IHS), Jerre Stead.
There was a two hour opened up so that evacuees could check homes under tight security. One resident saw boulders, broken glass, and dislodged propane tanks that were displaced across the area as a result of flooding. “When you get there, the shock sets in,” said local Darren Horwitz.
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