Under tight security, hundreds of Lyons evacuees were given two hours to check on their homes yesterday. Those who ventured back into the flood-ravaged town found scenes of stomach-churning destruction, with dozens of homes destroyed, family keepsakes missing, food spoiling, and mud everywhere. "It's just sickening," says Gloria Simpson, whose family salvaged some of her grandmother's hand-made quilts from her 81-year-old father's home. They found some family photos, but others were nowhere to be found.
Darren Horwitz saw boulders, broken glass, and dislodged propane tanks strewn around Lyons. His truck and sailboat that he parked at a friend's mobile home had been swept away. "When you get there, the shock sets in," he says. E. coli has been found in the town's drinking water and it could be two to six months before the town is livable for most, the Longmont Times-Call reports. However, residents willing to rough it will be allowed to stay. (Read more Colorado stories.)