Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 6:14 am
Rain ground recovery efforts from days of massive flooding across Colorado to a halt Sunday. Helicopters were prevented from conducting additional search and rescue efforts in Boulder and Larimer counties.
Update, 7:00 PM Monday: CDOT has reopenedManitou 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.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 6:08 am
For a second day flood waters, goaded by heavy rains, impacted large swaths of the Front Range. When skies finally broke, many were stranded, hundreds were in need of rescue and four lives were lost statewide.
Colorado Springs officials have released initial damage assessments following this week's flooding. Officials note that potential rain this weekend may produce further damaging incidents, and assessments will be ongoing. Their list is as follows:
Damage assessments are underway in Colorado Springs as heavy rains continue to move through the Pikes Peak region and throughout the Front Range. Officials are urging residents to remain aware of weather conditions as rain is predicted throughout the weekend.
Director of Emergency Management Bret Waters says the city and regional partners have been preparing for these kinds of events for some time now, and it’s important to stay prepared.
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.
Voters ousted two Democratic state lawmakers yesterday in the first ever recall elections of state legislators. The recalls come in the wake of new gun legislation passed earlier this year.
Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs conceded around 9:30, calling the defeat symbolic. Morse was unapologetic over his stance on the new gun control measures, and says it was worth the political risk.
It’s election day for parts of El Paso and Pueblo Counties. State senators John Morse and Angela Giron are facing possible recalls. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin caught up with the El Paso County Clerk at Centennial Hall, where at mid-day, voter traffic was moving swiftly.
This is one of seven voting centers open today in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. Clerk Wayne Williams says turnout today has been lighter at times than last week, but he says there could be an after-work rush.
World-renowned artist Christo still hopes to do an ambitious art installation in Central Colorado. Well known for The Gates, a New York City Central Park installation in 2005, he’s currently pursuing a project called Over the River. In it, fabric panels would be suspended over sections of the Arkansas River. Christo’s work is often controversial, so it’s no surprise the proposal has met stiff opposition here. Christo recently spoke in Snowmass Village. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher was there, and has this report.
Once again this summer, the Western United States saw plenty of forest fires. Some continue to burn. When the flames are extinguished, the dollar signs emerge, and states handle fire suppression costs differently. In Colorado, it depends on what kind of land is burning and how big the blaze is.
Voters who live in Senate District 11 in El Paso County can start heading to four polling centers at 8 this morning to cast early ballots in the special recall election. Included locations are the Main Office at the Citizens Service Center on Garden of the Gods, Southeast at Powers and Airport, downtown Colorado Springs on Cascade, and another on North Union. Three other locations are scheduled to open on Monday.
A contentious real estate transaction in Old Colorado City is now a thing of the past as Iowa-based Kum & Go announced this morning that it's canceling plans to purchase property from Goodwill between 23rd and 24th Streets.
All around Colorado, new collaborations are emerging around water storage and water use. Partnerships with reservoirs are turning out to be key in terms of environmental stewardship, river protection, and healthy communities that rely on water. As part of our year long series Connecting the Drops, KGNU's Maeve Conran looks at some of these collaborations that have produced tangible results.
Portions of Pikes Peak will be closed this week to shoot the next installment in the Fast and Furious franchise. Another closure is expected this fall, as Hyundai is scheduled to shoot a car commercial there. Donald Zuckerman is the Colorado Film commissioner. He says that before the film incentive program, Colorado wasn’t even being considered by the movie industry.
Both sides of the gun debate in Colorado are pouring a lot of resources into the historic recall elections of two Democratic lawmakers. And as Bente Birkeland reports, next week’s September 10th elections in Pueblo and Colorado Springs are drawing national attention to the fight over gun control.
The Colorado State Fair is well underway in Pueblo. KRCC's Andrea Chalfin went down to catch some of the judging, from produce to rabbits and Pet Rock Olympics. But of course, the State Fair also has rides and games. Here’s an audio postcard of some of the sights and sounds of the Colorado State Fair.
The Colorado State Fair runs through September 2nd, in Pueblo.
The USA Pro Challenge moved through Colorado last week, flashing across TV, computer, and mobile screens, thanks to a film crew on motorcycles. But there are also team cars on the road, and Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher hitched a ride with one of them. She has this story of what it’s like to be literally, in the middle of the peloton.
The USA Pro Challenge wrapped up in Denver yesterday, with Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team taking the overall win.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has instituted new policies for Highway 24 as related to Flash Flood Warnings. When the National Weather Service issues a warning, or rain gages indicate more than a quarter inch of rain in the Waldo Canyon burn zone, CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol plan to close the route. The highway will then remain closed until the warning is lifted, any debris is removed, and the road is deemed safe for travel. In addition, CDOT will actively patrol the highway between Manitou Springs and Cascade at all times through October 1.
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."
Colorado’s first biomass power plant is nearly complete. Senator Mark Udall and State Senator Gail Schwartz toured the facility in Gypsum recently, where wood cuttings from beetle kill trees will be turned into electricity. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.
The number of suicides in Colorado is at an all time high. 1,053 people took their own lives in 2012 – giving Colorado one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. Jarrod Hindman is the Director of Suicide Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. He says the state’s geography limits access to mental health services, and the social stigma of getting help continues to contribute to the numbers.
The USA Pro Challenge kicked off in Aspen and Snowmass Village today. More than a hundred and twenty top cyclists are competing in the third edition of the race. As Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher reports, many explored the Roaring Fork Valley on two wheels this past weekend... and all of them were within arm’s reach during Saturday’s opening ceremonies.
Sagan won today’s first leg of the USA Pro Challenge, finishing the 66-mile stage in 2 hours, 26 minutes.
Veterans and other military leaders gathered at the state capitol yesterday to talk about ways to improve treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Colorado Senator Mark Udall and Congressman Mike Coffman put a task force together to recommend better federal policies. Bente Birkeland has more from the capitol.