Devastating Flooding in Still-Isolated Lyons, Colorado

By Tom Yulsman | September 12, 2013 1:41 pm

All photos: Courtesy Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

At about 2 a.m. I saw a Tweet from my good friend Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, who lives in Lyons, Colorado, saying that she was being evacuated from her home because of flooding. Then, nothing.

Until a few minutes ago, when she posted 25 photos to Facebook showing what the “biblical”-scale rainfall here in the Denver-Boulder area (as the National Weather Service describes it) has done to her town at the foot of the mountains. She reports that she is safe, but that she and her family are totally cut off in the town — they cannot get out.

From Facebook: “Tom, we are in a good spot and totally isolated. No way in or out.”

She reports that her home is getting hit in the front by North Saint Vrain Creek, and from the back by South Saint Vrain Creek. “We can’t get to it.”

This area has received about 9 inches of rain in 18 hours, compared to the average for the entire month of September of 1.68 inches. Flooding is widespread, and minutes ago I heard reports from the University of Colorado that a “wall of water” was rampaging down Boulder Canyon. Not sure what is happening with that yet. Suffice it to say, this is bad.

Bonnie-Sue has given me permission to share her pictures here. All of them were taken in Lyons. So far, I have seen no other on-scene images of what’s happening there.

Photo courtesy Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock


Photo courtesy Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock


Photo courtesy Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock


Photo courtesy Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock


Photo courtesy Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

  • mark kalyan

    our prayers go out to you and the residents of Lyons.
    Now how do we help ?



ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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