Boy Scouts Return To Camp Site After Flash Flood Evacuation

Boy Scouts and troop leaders gather at the Walsenburg Community Center after being evacuated from their campground early Tuesday morning.
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After being evacuated because of flash flooding early Tuesday, nearly 100 Boy Scouts are back at their camp site, in spite of the threat of more storms Tuesday night.

The scouts were at the Spanish Peaks Scout Ranch in Huerfano County outside Walsenburg when rising creek waters forced them to evacuate around 3:15 a.m. The surge of water was caused by rain on the East Peak burn scar, which is susceptible to flooding. The camp is close to the burn scar.

Most of the scouts were in tents above Bear Creek when the creek started rising, and were not in immediate danger. However, staff members, who were closer to the creek when it started raining, were forced to climb onto the top of a building at the campsite to escape the water that started rushing inside.

"They had to get on top of picnic tables and on top of the roof and when they got on top...the picnic table had finally floated away. It was pretty high, and it also was picking up cars and turning them," Craig Lessar with the Huerfano County Sheriff's Office said.

All of the scouts and staff were able to get safely out of the camp and were bused to the Walsenburg Community Center, where the Red Cross had set up an evacuation center.

This is the second summer in a row that scouts have had to evacuate the camp; Boy Scouts were evacuated last June during the East Peak Fire.

Nathaniel Dorr is a Conservation Director with Spanish Peaks. He said the group came this year prepared.

"Especially after last year in the fire, we keep everything with us at all times. We call it out 'Day Pack,'" said Dorr.