Manitou Springs Weathers Wednesday's Storms

Unlike last year, it was business as usual for Manitou Springs after heavy rain Wednesday.
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Every time heavy rain spills over the Waldo Canyon burn scar, it can cause major problems for nearby Manitou Springs.

All eyes were on Fountain Creek Wednesday night as the area received some of the heaviest rain yet in what's already shaping up to be a soggy July. Firefighters drove through Manitou and told people to get to higher ground. An evacuation center was also opened at the Historic Congregational Church. Fourteen people used the center while it was open.

It's all part of a bigger plan to keep everyone safe in Manitou Springs, and so far, it seems to be paying off.

After last year's series of floods, businesses were left sweeping mud off the floor. Many had to shut down for days, severely cutting into profits. The floods happened during peak tourist season, and business owners told 11 News the flooding really hurt.

But this year after round one of flash flooding Wednesday, it remained business as usual in the community. Shoppers could be seen hitting the stores just minutes after the road was reopened.

"Now we're back eating BBQ in Manitou Springs," one woman told 11 News.

Dave Hunting, a city spokesman, said that had a lot to do with their new flood mitigation projects. One in particular: cleaning out the creekbed.

"We had machinery digging out debris from last year's flood, lower the bed of [Fountain] creek so it can handle more water when it does come through," Hunting explained.

Hunting said another big development is the installation of video cameras in Waldo Canyon. A second is being installed in Williams Canyon this week.

"We can actually have real time visuals about what kind of water and debris is coming down the canyon towards this community," Hunting said.

The cameras are accessible online for the public. The only problem: so many people were on the site looking at the camera Wednesday that it crashed. The city is working out that kink.