Muddy water flowing down the St. Vrain River in Lyons, Colo.

(Photo: Joe Christiansen, courtesy of Bob Campagna)

Five years ago this week, it seemed like the rain would never stop. Floods in Colorado killed 10 people, displaced thousands and caused billions in damages. In the thick of it was researcher Bob Brakenridge, who had observed the destruction flooding could cause half a world away, but never before in his backyard.

Brakenridge, a Lyons resident who directs the Dartmouth Flood Observatory at the University of Colorado, talked to Colorado Matters about how the 2013 flooding impacted his work. His family had to leave their home and spend months in temporary housing, which gave him real perspective on the effects of displacement.