The White House has approved an emergency declaration for flooding throughout the Front Range, making federal aid available to communities hardest hit by recent heavy rains. As KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports, while Northern Colorado has so far borne the brunt of the damages, post-Waldo Canyon fire mitigation efforts in El Paso County have largely come undone.
A Flash Flood Warning remains in effect for the Waldo Canyon burn area until 8:30 PM Thu 09/12/13.
Officials have their eyes to the sky as heavy rains continue to hit much of the Front Range. Manitou Springs has had an Incident Command Center open off and on since 9:00 last night. The ICC is open again this afternoon as officials stay ready for more rain.
Emergency responders in Colorado Springs recovered the body of an adult male early this morning from Fountain Creek after heavy rains overnight.
The Colorado Springs Police Department noticed a body in the water near Nevada and Las Vegas Streets while conducting flood patrols and notified the city’s fire department. The Heavy Rescue Team recovered the remains shortly before 5 this morning. Identification and official cause of death are pending. A flash flood watch remains in effect for El Paso and Teller Counties through midnight.
Efforts continue all across the Waldo Canyon burn scar to help reduce the effects of flooding. Colorado Springs Utilities expects to wrap up initial work in the Northfield Watershed on Rampart Range within the next month or so. But Project Manager Kim Gortz with Utilities says it’s really an ongoing effort.
"Hayman’s still seeing issues 10 years post-fire, so I think we’re starting in our planning phase as far as what do we do for long-term restoration, what do we do for monitoring each time we have a monsoon season."
While Manitou Springs authorities celebrated finding one survivor, another Manitou flood victim, 49-year-old Laura Hunter, told reporters Monday at Penrose Hospital she’s thrilled to be alive. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports.
Hunter was in her small cottage in the 500 block of Canon Ave. when water started quickly pouring into her living room.
Flash flood watches and warnings peppered the weekend in the Pikes Peak region, with skies darkening ominously as thunder and rain rolled in each afternoon. Last night’s warning was canceled early, and Highway 24 and Manitou Springs were spared a repeat of Friday’s devastating flooding.
Update: Sun 1:40 PM Per the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, the mother of missing person Juston Travis has reported she's spoken to him and he is safe. One person still unaccounted for. As described yesterday, she is a petite blonde female, wearing black shirt over tan pants. MSPD Chief Joe Ribeiro: “Seen near the creek at one moment hanging in a tree, and then not seen the next.”
Update: 11:20PM: The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is reporting the body of an adult man has been found along Highway 24 near mile marker 297. They report the body was buried under a significant amount of debris along the westbound lanes of the highway. No identification is available at this time.
10:25 PM: Highway 24 is now reopened, with one lane in each direction.
With thunderstorms in the forecast for the next few days, the possibility of flash flooding in El Paso County remains. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, the county is working to repair roads in the Black Forest area damaged in last weekend’s floods.
The county is placing road maintenance equipment in Black Forest so it can quickly remove flood debris and keep drainages open. County Spokesman Dave Rose says the big challenge is a large drainage system that runs south through the burn area and then along Shoup Road, an important east-west route.
Sandbags will be available to homeowners facing impacts from potential flash flooding in and near the Waldo Canyon burn scar. They'll be given away free at the Verizon Wireless building on Garden of the Gods Road from 8 - 2 Saturday. The sand comes from last week's Olympic Downtown Celebration and its sand volleyball pit.
Colorado Springs and El Paso County officials have released updated flood maps for areas in and near the Waldo Canyon burn scar. The maps detail expected flood effects after one-hour rainfall amounts of a half-inch up to two inches of rain. The assessments assumed debris in floodwaters would cause blockages at street crossings. Maps include Ute Pass, Manitou Springs, and Fountain Creek. Douglas Creek maps have not yet been updated. There’s a preparedness meeting tonight at six for residents and businesses along Fountain Creek at Al Kaly Shrine.
Forecasters say the storm over the Waldo Canyon burn scar yesterday that produced flash flooding through Williams Canyon was quick-moving and dropped six-tenths of an inch of rain in about 15 minutes. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin has more.
Manitou Springs city officials were quick to praise education efforts and first-responder cooperation, but Police Chief Joe Ribeiro acknowledged the city’s warning siren didn’t work correctly.