FROM THE ARCHIVES: Families see dangers of flooding and erosion

Flooding along the burn scar during a storm.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED SUNDAY, JULY 8, 2012: Families in Cascade tell 11 News they were just hoping to get back to their normal lives after the fire turned their world upside down.

But instead, they are worried that even a little rain could wipe out their homes.

We saw erosion as we drove around Cascade.

Our journey stared as a hunt to find a reported mudslide around Highway 24. We found the mess that closed a lane of the road overnight.

Workers at a business across the street fear if they get more than just a half-inch of rain, the mudslide could come through their front door.

"It's a concern as a business that you don't want to lose your business and you don't want to lose all your assets. Plus we have patients who come through the door and depend on you every day,” said Jody Logan, general manager of Eagle’s Nest Wellness Center.

Across the way we saw houses just below a steep burn area: a perfect recipe for a flooding disaster.

"We are about 20 feet away. There's a road right behind the house and it's [burn area] right on the other side of the road,” said Cascade resident Erin Valencia.

We met this mother and her two young children as they were trying to clean up their home from smoke damage. They are working to get back to their normal lives.

But now they are prepared to evacuate for a third time if flash flood waters come rushing in. The trio was evacuated from their home in Cascade, then a hotel in Manitou Springs.

The mother fears the rushing water or mudslides would come right through the kids’ bedroom windows that face the scorched mountains.

"I'm hoping for the best, that it just doesn't happen. There's no way to really control if it does, it's just Mother Nature,” Valencia said.

Valencia also plans on asking the fire department what is the best way to protect their home. The plan on surrounding it with sandbags.

After speaking with Valencia we were then stopped by a visiting Texas couple who can no longer reach their vacation home.

"Completely gone, completely gone. Now we have to walk,” Anthony Pogorzelski said.

Their road was totally washed out by the rains and will cost around $20,000 to fix.

"It ripped the concrete ... ripped my blacktop and everything just away like nothing. It's amazing,” Pogorzelski said.

But even more shocking and disheartening, the couple flew in to Colorado to find their getaway cabin, built in the 1800s, was destroyed by the fire.

A structure never reported as a home being burned.

"I ask everybody, 'When I can go see my cabin?' and the sheriff says, 'What cabin? There is no cabin, just a shed burn 10x10.' I say, 'Well must be something wrong because I come to my cabin and it's completely burned,'” Pogorzelski said.

We asked the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office if the cabin was reported as one of the homes destroyed in the Waldo Canyon Fire. They tell us they were not sure but looking into it. The owner says it was only reported that a shed was destroyed in Cascade, but never that a home was destroyed.

As we continue to expect rain over the weekend, drivers are asked to use caution on roads near the burn area.

And all families who live downhill or in a floodplain are urged to have an emergency plan in place.