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Floods transform Colorado’s mountain foothills

Boulder, Colo., homes were surrounded by muddy waters Saturday after flooded rivers invaded mountain communities.
Boulder, Colo., homes were surrounded by muddy waters Saturday after flooded rivers invaded mountain communities.Credit: Staff Sgt. Wallace Bonner/US Army/EPA

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LYONS, Colo. — Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain foothills from a paradise into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services — and more rain falling Sunday.

The string of communities from Boulder to Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, is a base for backpackers and nature lovers where blue-collar and yuppie sensibilities exist side by side. Now, roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, the site of the bluegrass festival is washed out and most shops are closed.

Chris Rodes, one of Lyons’ newest residents, said the change is so drastic that he is considering moving away just two weeks after settling there.

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