Governments preparing citizens for flood season

Posted by J. Adrian Stanley on Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Remember this? - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Remember this?

The Pikes Peak Region is gearing up for what could be another damaging flood season.

In the wake of the Black Forest and Waldo Canyon Fires, flood risk is higher than ever. And given the region's below-par stormwater system, flooding should be expected near major watersheds. But that doesn't mean local governments are ignoring the problem. In fact, the city is warning commuters near 31st Street to be aware of construction-related delays as it repairs the Camp Creek drainage ditch:

31st Street Channel Repairs to Impact Traffic Flow, Parking During April

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.— People living near or traveling on 31st Street in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood may experience traffic delays during the month of April as repairs are made to the 31st Street drainage channel.

The City of Colorado Springs has retained a contractor to make intermediate repairs to the Camp Creek channel located in the median of 31st Street from West Bijou Street/ Echo Lane north to Chambers Way.

The repair work is expected to begin April 1 and be completed by the end of April. During construction, traffic lanes will be narrowed and on-street parking for portions of the street may be prohibited for periods of time. Full closures of portions of the street may also be needed for relatively short time periods.

The majority of the work will occur south of West Fontanero Street where the badly degraded channel bottom pavement will be capped with a new concrete surface. Other spot repairs of the channel lining north of West Fontanero Street may be accomplished as remaining funds are available from the original $250,000 in allocated funding.

The interim repairs are being made to help the existing channel remain in full service until planning, design, permitting and securing of funding to fully reconstruct the channel is complete. A portion of the Camp Creek watershed was burned in the Waldo Canyon fire. Since the fire, the volume and frequency of stormwater and sediment carried by the Creek have increased. The extended rainfall that occurred in September 2013 resulted in significant damage to the aged concrete lining, increasing the urgency of making repairs to the channel.

The City initiated a community-based planning process for permanent improvements to Camp Creek last fall which is nearing completion. A community open house for review of the recommended drainage improvement plan is scheduled for 5 to 7:30 p.m., April 29 at Coronado High School Cafeteria, 1590 W. Fillmore St.

For more information about the channel repairs, contact Ryan Phipps, City Repair Project Manager, at 385-5069 or RPhipps@springsgov.com. Information about the Camp Creek Drainage Improvement Project and community involvement process may be found at www.springsgov.com/campcreek.
Those who live in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood may also want to attend an upcoming city meeting that will discuss the effects of the Waldo Canyon Fire on flooding, mitigation efforts, and emergency preparedness. Here are the details: 
Camp Creek Flash Flood Preparedness Meeting
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The Castle at Glen Eyrie, 3820 N. 30th Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
Meanwhile, Manitou Springs, which has been hit hard by summer floods, is also gearing up. The town is looking for volunteers and also hoping to inform the public on emergency preparedness. Here are some details:
Manitou Springs Emergency Services and Volunteer Recruitment Forum
Sponsored by: The Manitou Springs Recovery Fund


Manitou Springs, CO, Saturday, April 5, 2014, 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM, 515 Manitou Avenue, Manitou Springs, Colorado: The Manitou Springs Recovery Fund is hosting a community wide forum on Flood and Fire Preparedness for the citizens of this community. Updates on progress made in preparation for this year’s potential emergencies will be made by Mayor Marc Snyder, Police Chief Joe Ribeiro and City Administrator Jack Benson. Board members from the Manitou Springs Emergency Recovery Fund will also be sharing information on ways to volunteer and financially help victims of future flood and fire disasters.

Following last year’s flooding through Manitou Springs, citizens have been mobilizing to provide safe and secure ways for neighbors to help neighbors in times of need. The Manitou Springs Emergency Recovery Fund in cooperation with the Pikes Peak Community Foundation has been receiving donations that will provide immediate assistance to future business and residential victims of community wide disasters. MERF is sponsoring this upcoming community in concert with community leaders to keep the public informed and prepared for such future events.
The Red Cross is also unveiling a new smartphone application that gives access to local and real-time information during an emergency and allows users to let loved ones know they're OK. The The El Paso-Teller County 911 Authority is also asking locals to create a new account for  the Emergency Notification System, due to a change of vendor. This is the system that notifies you when a dangerous flood is approaching.

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