2013 #COflood documented in book by Lyons students — Denver Post

Bear tracks in the mud near Big Thompson River west of Loveland via Craig Young
Bear tracks in the mud near Big Thompson River west of Loveland via Craig Young

From The Denver Post (Whitney Bryen):

Lyons High School senior Cole Bonde spent two months sleeping on an air mattress while his family cleaned the debris and mud that washed up around their home during the September flood. Bonde’s family evacuated their home a couple of days after the flood — leaving in a four-wheel-drive vehicle that barely cleared the debris — to stay with friends while power was restored.

“The rebuilding was more stressful than anything,” Bonde, 17, said. “The worst part was not waking up in my own bed every morning for two months.”

Bonde is one of 20 Lyons High students who share their flood stories and photographs in the book “Our Town, Our Story: The Lyons Flood of 2013.” The students from Stephanie Busby’s fall photography class launched the project in November as a way to cope with the devastation they faced and contribute to rebuilding efforts. The proceeds from the 200 printed copies will go to the Lyons Community Foundation and are earmarked for rebuilding community trails that students used to walk to get to and from school, said Busby, an art teacher at Lyons Middle/Senior High School.

The first books will be sold Monday [February 24, 2014] at a photographers’ reception at Oskar Blues in Lyons. The students who contributed to the book will be there telling their stories and selling large prints of their photographs to raise money for the community foundation.

Loveland photographer and writer Robert Campagna helped the class develop the concept and worked with students on photography and writing.

“I felt like the kids needed to document what they went through,” Busby said. “It’s through their eyes, their point of view.”

Bonde used a wide-angle lens for most of his photos to provide a “big picture” look at the destruction in Lyons, he said. “I used the sun to capture what the flood actually did,” Bonde said. “I wanted to shine some light on the damage.”

Senior Alexis Eberhardt, 18, told the story of a close friend, Caleb, who lost his childhood home in the flood. Eberhardt’s pages feature a photograph of a wooden lamppost next to a pile of dirt and rubble where her friend’s childhood home once stood.

Senior Joe Christiansen, 17, had a different perspective. Instead of wide photographs that captured the large piles of debris and pools of muddy water, Christiansen focused on the details.

A tattered American flag and a torn and muddied page of a Bible lead Christiansen’s series of photos that he calls “the memories among the debris.”

Christiansen summed up his view of the destruction at the end of his story next to a photograph with a silhouette of a flower and a colorful sunset.

“Change is a strange thing, but it is necessary and at some point it must happen,” he wrote. “Now is as good a time as any, and sometimes we need forces beyond our control to direct the way.

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