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Flood preparedness for Waldo Canyon burn scar

By Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: May 24 2014 10:41:00 PM CDT

Mitigation efforts held up during Friday night's storm, but more rain could damper flood mitigation work.

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. -

People have been frantically preparing Manitou Springs, the Waldo burn scar and Highway 24 for flooding since last summer.

We didn't see any serious issues with Friday night's storm, May 23, 2014, but more rain could cause bigger problems.

At the end of Canon Avenue in Manitou Springs at the mouth of Williams Canyon Perco Rock construction workers are restructuring the channel.

“We're going to do some concrete walls and shotcrete and some soil nails to help prevent some of the flooding,” said Perco Rock construction worker Chris Johnson.

It's where last year's flood ravaged homes carrying heavy debris from the Waldo Canyon burn scar.

"Just some water came through, didn't flush a lot of stuff down,” said Johnson.

That's what happened Friday night and with more rain hitting the burn scar, it could be worse, said Johnson.

"We just started walking up Canon and people were running down. People were telling us to go back and I was saying I live up here and I wanted to get to my house,” said Manitou Springs neighbor Emily Viviani.

Viviani moved to Manitou only three weeks ago. She says construction next door has picked up since she moved in.

They had started doing some digging, but now they have this fence up and it looks like all these kind of cages of rocks,” she said showing her backyard.

Downtown, The Stagecoach Inn was washing down the deck and it may have to do it again.

Meanwhile, the new culvert along Highway 24 held up against last night's storm, but CDOT still closed the road for precautions.

As for the ongoing construction at Williams Canyon, neighbors will have to hold on and hope it doesn't flood.

"I'm just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that whatever they're doing helps for the end of the season,” said Viviani.

CDOT says it has a new protocol for closing Highway 24. When we're under a flash flood warning or if the rain gauges get a quarter inch of rain or more, the highway will shut down.

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