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Know Which Creek Affects You

By Matt Meister, Chief Meteorologist, m.meister@krdo.com
Published On: Aug 23 2012 05:45:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 23 2012 06:52:27 PM CDT

Several drainage basins are affected by the Waldo Canyon Fire and every one of them that has its headwaters, or origins, within the burn is at a greatly elevated risk to flash flooding, mud and debris flows. Here are descriptions of the creek paths in Colorado Springs according to the city.

  • North Douglas Creek (second largest burn area with drainage flows to the City) -- drains to a channel running through subdivisions west and east of Centennial (originating near Pikeview Quarry, crossing under Flying W Ranch Road and Centennial Blvd, along Mule Deer Drive just west of Ute Valley Park), crossing Garden of the Gods Road near Elkton Drive and discharging to Monument Creek
  • South Douglas Creek -- drains to a channel next to Flying W Ranch Road, crossing Garden of the Gods Road at Arrows West Drive and heading east, past Centennial Blvd through Holland Park, and discharging to Monument Creek
  • Camp Creek/31st Street channels (largest burn area with drainage flows to the City) -- drains through Queens Canyon, through Glen Eyrie, Garden of the Gods, Rockledge Ranch and 31st Street channel, and discharging to Fountain Creek
  • Dry Creek through Peregrine and Rockrimmon, in a channel running through subdivisions, parallel and south of Woodmen Road, crossing under Rockrimmon Blvd, and discharging to Monument Creek 
  • Fountain Creek beginning upstream of Manitou Springs then running through Colorado Springs next to Highway 24

In addition, heavily burned hillsides and areas below them along with Majestic Drive and Majestic Park are at elevated risk due to the extreme temperatures at which they burned.

Southern areas of the Waldo Canyon Fire also have the Fountain Creek drainage basin and its headwaters at risk of flooding and mudslides/debris flows.

  • Williams Canyon is the number one drainage basin at risk according to the post fire flood assesment performed by the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies. This is located north of highway 24 just north of Mantiou Springs and empties into Fountain Creek in Manitou.
  • Waldo Canyon the canyon where the fire originated is north of highway 24 and just west of Williams Canyon. Waldo Canyon Drains into Fountain Creek near the parking lot at the trailhead.
  • Wellington Gulch is north of highway 24 on the east end of Chipita Park. There is an active rock pit at the mouth of Wellington Gulch. It empties into Fountian Creek.
  • Unnamed gulches - There are several unnamed gulches on the southern flank of the Waldo Canyon burn area that drain into highway 24. One of these in particular has been the point of several mudslides already and has caused US 24 to be closed multiple times. This gulch is just west of Wellington Gulch.
  • Anyone that lives near Fountain Creek in Ute Pass/US 24 between Colorado Springs and Green Mountain Falls should be aware of the elevated flood potential.
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