Longform

Nine months after Colorado's worst flood, the musicians of Lyons are ready for a comeback

Thick sheets of rain started falling in Lyons on the night of September 11, 2013. Most people didn't think much of it until a few hours in, when sirens wailed through the deluge and a flat voice came over the town's public-address system: Floodwater warning. Move to higher ground immediately.

The sirens interrupted guitarist Gary McCrumb's first date with a fiddle player named Jean Ballhorn; the two were playing songs in the kitchen of his 110-year-old house. McCrumb lived in the heavily wooded neighborhood at the confluence of St. Vrain Creek's north and south branches, and he went outside to investigate. He found six inches of water rushing through the alley and waded one block farther to the creek, which was already bulging at its banks. The scene looked surreal, like something out of a cartoon. "We need to get the hell out of here," he told Ballhorn.

See also: Telluride Bluegrass Festival's longtime MC reflects on Colorado's most storied music fest

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Kiernan Maletsky is Westword's music editor. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky