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Heavy rain poses problems for homes near drainage ditch

By Jaclyn Rostie, Reporter, j.rostie@krdo.com
Published On: Sep 26 2012 04:39:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 26 2012 07:06:49 PM CDT

Rain on Tuesday caused more debris to shift, including large concrete slabs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Homeowners near a ditch that collapsed in July fear any more rain could spell disaster. 

The ditch is behind Rampart High School, near North Union Boulevard and Lexington Drive. It collects runoff from surrounding streets.

On Tuesday, heavy rainfall caused debris to shift, including some large concrete slabs.

In July, heavy rainwater managed to seep behind the drainage walls, eroding materials behind the walls.  This resulted in the wall collapsing.

Temporary repairs were made following the collapse, but the repairs aren't holding.

On Wednesday, city crews were back in the area, moving rocks to help divert the water.

"I like to see what construction people do," said nearby homeowner Bill Taves, who was watching the work on Wednesday. 

He said he was glad to see crews working on the ditch, but hopes they will soon build a permanent solution.

"We're really concerned about the buildings that are immediately threatened," he said. 

Those homeowners closest to the collapse said at least one home has had water in its basement, soil ripped away and trees pulled into the raging water.

The city said more temporary repairs are in the works, including a new pipeline to divert water and a black fabric to hold back debris from erosion.  But a more permanent fix is still in the planning process.

In the meantime, one homeowner said she applied for flood insurance, but it won't kick in for another two weeks.  Taves hopes if his townhome is flooded, their homeowners association will pay for repairs.

Bard Lower, operations manager of the Colorado Springs Street Division, blames aging infrastructure for the problems.

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