Colorado Springs
68° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds

Ute Pass hit by second major mudflow

Published On: Jul 30 2012 11:37:05 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 21 2012 04:22:49 PM CDT

The result of Monday's heavy rain over Waldo Canyon burn scar.


Cleanup likely will continue Tuesday after ash and mud flows through towns along Ute Pass on Monday.

At around 5:30 p.m. Monday, the first in a series of thunderstorms moved over the burn scar created by the recent Waldo Canyon wildfire.  The storms dumped heavy rainfall on an area that no longer can retain water -- sending flows of mud, ash and debris downhill.

The first area impacted was U.S. 24 between Cascade and Crystola.  The flows blocked traffic in both directions for much of the evening, with the westbound lanes bearing the brunt of the impact.

Crews detoured evening rush hour traffic around the area while heavy machinery worked to clear the highway by midnight.

William Gerke, a nearby resident, came out to witness the scene, and recalled a similar event three weeks ago.

"This is worse than last time, because it didn't come down this far last time," he said.  "Our drainage on the next block over, is filled.  So (the flow) is not draining through at all.  It's just running down.  We just had our driveways fixed a couple of days ago, and it's already no good any more."

The flows then moved below the highway along Fountain Creek, to the towns of Green Mountain Falls, Chipita Park and Cascade.  The liquid ash and mud in the creek overflowed, nearly flooding the interior of a home.

"We basically tried to figure out how the water was flowing, and see where we could re-route it by using whatever we could find," said Michelle Hefner, who helped friends and relatives keep the flow out of her parents' home.   

"We had (ash and mud) on us three weeks ago," she said.  "I had a rash (from it).  We have to have a good attitude because we know this is going to happen again -- and for how long, we don't know."

Hefner said affected residents must determine how to prevent or minimize damage from future flows.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms.

blog comments powered by Disqus