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Flash-flood preparedness meeting April 24 in Manitou Springs

Published: April 15, 2014, 9:34 am, by Matt Steiner
Manitou flood blog

Manitou Springs on Aug. 10, 2013 after another flash flood hit the areas. (Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette)

A meeting April 24 at the Manitou Springs town hall will allow residents of the town of about 5,000 people to review flash-flood dangers, discuss emergency plans and learn more about ongoing mitigation efforts.

The meeting, scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 24 will be hosted by El Paso County officials and feature a question-and-answer panel discussino with Manitou and county officials.

According to a press release, the flash-flood preparedness meeting will be video recorded and posted on the El Paso County YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/ElPasoCountyCO.

Manitou Springs faced tons of water, mud, rocks and other debris during flash floods that poured out of the Waldo Canyon burn scar in July and August 2013. Several homes were destroyed along Canon Avenue at the mouth of Williams Canyon and U.S. 24 was closed for hours at a time as crews from the Colorado Department of Transportation cleared debris from the roadway. One man died in an Aug. 9 torrent that swept several cars down U.S. 24.

Manitou Springs officials and others in the region have echoed the same mantra before those flood events and as the 2014 monsoon season approaches. Manitou police Chief Joe Ribeiro is among those encouraging residents to be proactive, attend meetings and have a plan before the next flash-flood event occurs.

Hydrologists with Wildland Hydrology, which conducted an extensive study of watersheds and flood dangers related to the burn scar, predict that Manitou Springs and other areas along U.S. 24 and in western Colorado Springs will experience repeated flash flooding for decades to come.