Five articles were published in the Lyons Recorder on September 16 regarding the Flood. Editor and publisher Lora Gilson and Joseph Lekarczyk had to evacuate the town during the flood, and had to find other facilities in which to publish a newspaper out of. They felt it was essential to inform the public as to what was happening in town, as the majority of people had also evacuated. The flood edition of the newspaper could be read for free online. Copies of the newspaper were delivered to Life Bridge Church, where most people were sheltered, and to Twin Peak’s Mall, where FEMA had their office.
ARTICLES consisted of:
==Good News, Bad News, by Joseph Lekarczyk (see below for excerpts)
==About Town, by LaVern Johnson (see separate article for excerpts)
==emergency BOT Meeting, Sept. 18, 2013
==Lyons Businesses New Locations and Contact Information
==Record Setting Flood Buries Lyons, by weather analyst Greg Berman, includes “Disaster Assistance Information” such as business’s tax help, where Red Cross is located, water testing, temporary homes list, Boulder Flood Relief resources, and more. / plus photos.
All articles can be viewed at the Lyons Redstone Museum digital “newspaper archive.” You can also view this entire article in the public Flood exhibit in the main room of the library. It is enlarged and in the “poster display”. Contact them for further details. (303) 823-5271. (Open 7 days a week until October 1st)
“Good News, Bad News” article by Joseph Lekarczyk, Monday, September 16, 9 p.m.
“I got some good news, and I got some bad news, which do you want to hear first?” We all know how that joke goes, so I’ll start with the good news.
First, although there are reports of five deaths so far in Boulder County from this disaster, none are from Lyons. Lyons Substation Supervisor Sgt Nick Goldberger confirmed this to me. He said one hundred percent of the homes within Lyons proper have been searched by either Search & Rescue, Lyons Fire, BoCo Sheriff, or National Guard three times; a hasty, a primary, and a secondary search to ascertain that no one is trapped inside or in need of help. Someone is then checking names of the known missing/unaccounted-for against the Town’s utility addresses and another visit is paid to those residences. (So, if you are out, but didn’t register at LifeBridge as a Lyons refugee, please do so.) Goldberger added there are still many people who are unaccounted for, especially in some of the outlying areas surrounding Lyons.
You can’t believe how many assets are on the ground in Lyons. There are National Guard trucks and personnel everywhere! Work crews are clearing downed trees, cleaning up debris with big front-end loaders. The power company, CenturyLink, and FEMA crews are on site trying to assess the damage and restore services. In fact, as I was leaving town on Monday afternoon at around 4 p.m., I saw the first new power pole being erected between the Black Bear Inn and U-Pump-It! The local quarries have been ferrying truckloads of sandstone fill everywhere to shore up the bridge abutments and fill in some of the eroded streets and roads to make them passable for emergency vehicles. Every 2 or 3 minutes helicopters are flying over head, most are heading into the mountains to evacuate stranded people in the more remote communities, like Estes Park, Allenspark, Pinewood Springs, etc. but occasionally one lands in Lyons (either in a field at the top of Fifth Avenue, or on the street north of the fire station (the on-site command post) to drop off essential supplies.
Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen and staff met with BoCo Sheriff Joe Pele, the three BoCo Commissioners, St. Vrain Valley School Superintendent Don Haddad, and his staff, in the Lyons Elementary School library (Town Hall suffered water damage and the School District has agreed to let Town Staff use the school for their business) on Monday morning to coordinate their efforts. The Town’s “main-frame computer server” has been relocated to the school. …FEMA will be setting up an office at Twin Peaks mall…
The McConnell and Second Avenue Bridges are not yet functioning. The bridges themselves are still there, but the abutments leading up to the south sides have been eroded and the river has now channeled itself there. … The two bridges on Rte 36 on either side of Planet Bluegrass …are compromised but intact, and are being used. Same for the Fifth Avenue Bridge, but on a much more limited basis. …
(He lists the businesses that “got slammed”…. St. Vrain Market, The Fork, Black Bear Inn, Clark’s Hardware, Diamond Shamrock, Spirit Hound, Lyons Finest Confidential Care, Nick Angelo shop, … and the hardest hit was Planet Bluegrass — “several stream channels with running water throughout the grounds. Mud and debris is everywhere… pavilion had a lot of water flowing through it.” (He goes into detail about how Meadow Park and Bohn Park were damaged. He states the town is rethinking if they want to restore or build a new wastewater treatment plant. The Town wants people to evacuate.)
“There are still many people who haven’t evacuated for one reason or another, but that number dwindles every day. Simonsen said only a dozen or so people were at the Monday morning 9 a.m. briefing at Vasquez Stage in Sandstone Park. She reiterated that the LES (school) evacuation center has been closed, because without power, water and sewer, it is no longer possible to help people within the town. … There will be a special emergency Board of Trustee meeting held on Tuesday, September 17… (Trustees Banta, Weller, Sullivan and Greenberg are in the area, and LaVern Johnson will join — all will meet at LES — and the mayor is flying in from a vacation in Africa)