Manitou Springs

In this segment from last week's episode of the Big Something, Noel Black brings you a profile of beloved Manitou artist Charles Rockey. He just released a book of fables and illuminations--Love Songs of Middle Time--that he’s been working on for the past 15 years. You can buy copies of the book at the Manitou Art Center, the Manitou Heritage Center, and Miramont Castle in Manitou.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

The Manitou Incline will close in mid August for trail maintenance. As KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports, the heavily traveled path is showing the effects of use and Mother Nature.

The work will include repairing damaged retaining walls, unclogging culverts, and rerouting the connecting trail between the Incline and the Barr Trail.

Sarah Bryarly is a landscape architect for the City of Colorado Springs Parks Department and the Project Manager for the Incline reconstruction. She says the repairs are focused on protecting the incline from runoff.

The committee tasked with addressing stormwater needs throughout the Pikes Peak region is hosting several community meetings to talk about their new draft plan. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.
 

The Pikes Peak Stormwater Taskforce formed two years ago to address drainage systems in the region. The plans include improvements on Manitou Boulevard and bank stabilization on Monument Creek.

Task Force spokeswoman Rachel Beck says they’re focusing on long-term solutions.

Manitou Springs is conducting a full-scale test of their emergency siren tomorrow (Thursday). KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports. 

The siren test is planned for 12:00 noon. It’ll play a high and low tone and a spoken message indicating it’s only a test.

The siren system is housed at city hall and is intended to help residents be aware of when there’s an emergency and to instruct them in what to do. The siren has specific alert messages to warn citizens for each type of incident.

UPDATE:  The Red Cross Shelter has closed as of 11:23 PM.  Highway 24 has reopened.

Original post:

The Red Cross has opened a shelter in Manitou Springs for those affected by potential flooding tonight, Friday, May 23. It's at the Historic Manitou Congregational Church, 103 Pawnee Ave.

The National Weather Service in Pueblo has issued a flash flood warning until 11:15 tonight for northwestern Pueblo County, northeastern Custer County, Teller County, and western El Paso and eastern Fremont Counties.

Manitou Springs officials are inviting residents to a community forum Saturday to talk about disaster preparation.  KRCC’s Rachel Gonchar has more.
 

Mayor Marc Snyder, Police Chief Joe Ribeiro and City Administrator Jack Benson will deliver progress updates on fire and flood mitigation projects.

Manitou Springs Emergency Fund (MERF) spokesman David Hunting says the city is about to start a bidding process for Williams Canyon and Canon Avenue work, and has made some progress on clean-up progress.

Kate Dunn

People come from far and wide to hike the Manitou Incline, especially now that it’s legal.  Rain, shine, or even snow, everyone who makes the trek has his or her own motivation.  Along with her friend Mariel Dempster, KRCC’s Kate Dunn made the journey during the cold and snowy weather we recently had in the Pikes Peak region, and brought back this audio postcard.
 

The Incline daily record holder, Greg Cummings, was known for making the trek 601 times in a year. 

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Traffic stops along Highway 24 continue today as the Colorado Department of Transportation works to stabilize slope lines. KRCC’s Maggie Spencer has more on the rock slide mitigation efforts. 

Traffic will be stopped both eastbound and as crews conduct a rock-scaling project near Cave of the Winds. CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford says crews are removing loose rock from the slope of the canyon on the north side of the highway.

Update, Sat 11:30 AM: ​The boil advisory is now lifted.

Update, Fri 5:15 PM: The boil advisory for Manitou Springs is still in effect, but for certain neighborhoods only. The city says the lower section of Crystal Hills Boulevard and Vias Subdivisions require some follow-up testing, which is expected to be complete tomorrow morning. Other areas, including the downtown business district, are no longer under the boil advisory.

Streets specifically affected by the continuing boil water advisory are:

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Update, 7:00 PM Monday: CDOT has reopened Manitou Avenue to traffic at the U.S. 24 interchange.  In addition, the ramps from U.S. 24 to Manitou Avenue are open. The culvert has been cleared of debris, and CDOT will continue to monitor it.

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Andrea Chalfin

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.

Bryan Oller

Last week, I interviewed Manitou Mayor Marc Snyder and KRCC News Director Andrea Chalfin about mitigation efforts related to the Waldo Canyon burn scar flooding. In this second part of the interview, I speak to Snyder about cleanup efforts and plans for next summer. Tune in tomorrow to hear the final part of the conversation about the future of Recreational Marijuana in Manitou Springs.

CDOT

Recent flooding has prompted the Colorado Department of Transportation to close Manitou Avenue (Highway 24 - Business) at the west end of town between Serpentine Drive and Highway 24.  Friday’s flood washed out two road segments, both about 30-40 feet long, and around 200-300 feet apart, making it unsafe for travel.  Engineers estimate repairs could take 2-3 months and cost around $1.5 million.  CDOT is seeking emergency funds from the Federal Highway Administration and is working on getting contracting in place so repairs can begin as soon as possible.  The total closed distance is about a

Andrea Chalfin

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.

Andrea Chalfin

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.”

Jane Turnis

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.  

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.