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Waldo Canyon recovery groups shows their 30 million dollar project

By Carl Winder, Multimedia Journalist, carl.winder@krdo.com
Published On: Aug 16 2013 07:54:33 PM CDT

30 million dollars has been invested into flood projects at the Waldo Canyon Burn Scar.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

More than 30 million dollars has been put into flood projects around the Waldo Canyon burn scar.

National, state, local and volunteer groups have been finding ways to divert floods for more than a year.

Soil and Water Program Leader Steve Sanchez says Waldo Canyon is an important project for the U.S. Forest Service.

"This is our number one workload, nothing takes priority over this."

Even though Waldo Canyon recovery groups have completed 28 mitigation projects, the job is far from over.

"There is a lot of work being done, to do what we are doing is extremely complicating."

Basins, walls and catchman ponds are some of the techniques Waldo Canyon groups use to divert flooding, and for Rozann Boen these ways are helpful since she has a house in the middle of the burn scar.

"(They) put rocks on the other side so that any debris would come down the canyon will not rip the bags."

She feels mitigation is saving her house.

"I think they are working really well, I feel more protected."

Sanchez feels it's challenge to divert floods going down hill, since the fire burned more than 18,000 acres, water rushes through Williams and Waldo Canyon affecting Cascade, Highwat 24, Manitou Springs and other places around the burn scar.

"As you can see the steep slopes in front of us, how can you get equipment on that it's impossible there's no way, what we have to do is identify opportunities in all these water sheds where we can."

Forest Service Hydrologist Dana Butler feels mother nature will help.

"As you can see the vegetation is really coming back, that's what's going to help us in the long run."

District Ranger Allan Hahn says the goal of mitigation isn't to stop flooding, but to change it's course.

"The amount of water is going to remain the same, but we slow it down to make it less dangerous."

The Forest Service says they want to open the burn  scar to the public in the Fall.

They want people to learn about the land and how it affects them.

 

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