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Manitou Springs reflects upon flash flood response

By Rachael Plath, Meteorologist, r.plath@krdo.com
Published On: Jul 02 2013 06:16:03 PM CDT

Manitou Springs officials, residents and business owners reflect upon what went well and what needs to be worked on before the next storm targets the city.

A press conference held Tuesday morning allowed officials to convey how well their plans were executed during the first flash flooding event in Manitou Springs since the Waldo Canyon fire.

Police chief Joe Ribeiro said the city has been preparing since the fire was contained nearly one year ago.  He said the plans were executed well, crews were working and communicating effectively and residents responded appropriately.

“It was a good test of our system.  It showed that our response can get up and moving very quickly and that the citizens are paying attention like we asked them to,” said Ribeiro.

He commented that there were a few things that he saw that need to be remedied prior to the next event.

“I think if I could ask for one thing to improve, it would be that the people respond when we ask them to move away from the water,” said Ribeiro.

Ribeiro said there were problems encountered when he attempted to sound the Manitou Springs sirens.  He said that is something that he will be investigating and repairing, to ensure its effectiveness during the next event.

Michelle Marx, owner of Coquettes Bistro and Bakery in Manitou Springs, said everything went smoothly at restaurant during the flash flood.  She said she is stocking up on tools to ensure she is better prepared for the next event.

“Well, the one thing I realized we were short on was flashlights.  I thought if something like this were to happen in the evening and we had a lot of customers in there we would really have to direct them better so I got more flashlights,” said Marx.

Everyone told KRDO Newschannel 13, Monday’s flash flood served as a good learning exercise as they were able to put their months of preparations to the test. 

The city wants everyone to know that the city is open, and it is still safe to visit the restaurants and shops in town.

“We just want to make sure that everybody knows that the town is open for business.  We are ready to go and our business is open, our restaurants are open.  It’s a beautiful day and we want to see everybody come here and enjoy themselves like they always do,” said Terry Sharpton, owner of Santa Fe Springs of Manitou Springs.

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