Flash Flood Raises Concerns About Future Storms for Manitou Residents

Flooding off of Canon Drive in Manitou Springs. Courtesy Michael S. Sirois.
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It took water to make a muddy, destructive mess in Manitou Springs.

On Tuesday following Monday's flash flood residents used water from garden hoses and began to clean it up.

"Behind this shed is all full of mud," said George Davis. "We gotta clean that out."

Davis' home sits on Canon Avenue alongside a drainage ditch. Water and debris crested the gully's walls sending a destructive river of muck directly into homes down the street.

Tina Webber's house was spared this time.

"We get those downpours, bucket droppers," said the 40-plus-year Manitou resident. "The fire marshal said we're going to deal with this for 10 years."

Webber's concerns are the town's concerns. The danger is in the surrounding hills where local leaders say efforts to mitigate flash flood risk have only scratched the surface of what's needed to secure neighborhoods downhill.

"We're trying to figure out how to again get those projects going uphill that will slow this water down and catch some of the debris that ends up in drainageways," said El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark.

Clark explained millions of dollars granted to Colorado following the High Park and Waldo Canyon fires only recently became available.
The funds are earmarked for emergency protection of watersheds in the region. Construction of deep basins designed to catch debris could begin in about a month, Clark said.

Neighbors like Webber are already bracing for the next rain.