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Federal funding denied for wildfire recovery efforts

By Jaclyn Rostie, Reporter, j.rostie@krdo.com
Published On: Jan 18 2013 07:13:54 PM CST

Leaders fear flooding problems in Waldo Canyon burn area

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The Waldo Canyon Fire is part of Colorado Springs history forever, but the damage is raising big concerns over flooding.

Sen. Mark Udall said the U.S. House of Representatives dismissed Colorado's needs for relief money when lawmakers failed to include funding in disaster-relief legislation.

"It's not just the water, but we have the debris and the sediment," said Coalition for the Upper South Platte Executive Director Carol Ekarius.

Ekarius has worked in the Hayman burn area for years and said a lot needs to be done to prevent flooding and erosion.  She said new vegetation needs to be planted along with some man-made barriers. 

"It's basically making mini-dams all the way down the slope out of the burned logs," said Ekarius.

"That's what we are facing today, looking at putting a fence on top of the cliff, rather than an ambulance at the bottom," said El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark.

Gary Bostrom, chief water services officer with Colorado Springs Utilities, said rain on July 30 caused a mudslide on Highway 24 and damaged an important water pipeline.

"It created a huge flow into the north shed water area causing $10 million in damage to pipelines and roads," said Bostrom.

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