How The 2013 Floods Transformed Two Small Colorado Towns

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Photo: Before/after floods 1a
This Nov. 13, 2013 photo was taken two months after September's destructive flood in Jamestown, Colo.

Three years after flooding nearly wiped out Jamestown, Colo. in Boulder County, Mayor Tara Schoedinger says residents are still getting used to a town that looks very different than it did before the floods, with less vegetation in some areas and more open space where homes used to be.

But, she says despite the ongoing challenges, people in the town of 300 are beginning to look forward, not back.

Photo: Before/after floods 9a
The South Saint Vrain Creek washed away a road leading up to the 2nd Ave bridge in in Lyons, Colo., Friday Sept. 13, 2013.

In nearby Lyons, Colo., Mayor Connie Sullivan says the town of 2,000 residents has struggled to rebuild after one-fifth of its housing stock was destroyed during the flooding. She says the lack of affordable housing in town has meant hiring troubles for business owners.

Sullivan, who owns a deli called the St. Vrain Market, says the town has tried to entice workers from Longmont and Boulder, but it's been tough given the tight job market.

Shoedinger and Sullivan spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel about finding a "new normal" three years after the floods.