Colorado Department of Transportation crews are working hard to prevent future flooding along Highway 24 near Cascade. Monday night's flooding in this area is just a symptom of a long term problem because of the Waldo Canyon wildfire. There is not enough vegetation on the nearby hills to the road to naturally absorb water. Much of it was charred by the fire.
CDOT Highway Maintenance Supervisor Gary Heller tells me this stretch of road is one of up to five sites that has a high potential of debris coming down on the highway. CDOT is in the process of putting together a sort of early warning system to give crews a 30 minute heads up if there is too much rain in a certain area. Crews will install four rain monitors in basins that collect water, high in the hills. Heller says, "You'll get a rain cell focused on those bowls and 20-30 minutes later, the gush will come down." Heller says his crews are on 30 minute standby for road duty and this system will get them to the location that's about to be flooded out. Those rain monitors would be installed in two weeks after a final site evaluation of where they should be located..
CDOT has future plans on the drawing table to prevent more flooding along Highway 24. That plan includes making culverts larger to collect more water. CDOT is also researching to see if concrete retaining walls on the sides of the road would make a difference.