Flood diversion measures not needed Thursday, help on the way

NEAR CASCADE, Colo. - Flooding fears fizzled out Thursday despite rain along Highway 24 in the Waldo Canyon burn scar area.

Rain began falling around 4:30 p.m. and prompted the National Weather Service to declare a flash flood warning for the region.

While the rain fell consistently for about an hour there was never any flooding on the road or mud slides that affected traffic.

During the storm, Colorado Department of Transportation trucks stood by in anticipation of more road problems that have plagued the stretch of the highway since it reopened following the Waldo Canyon Fire in late June.

Besides clearing mud and debris from the roadway, CDOT crews have also been clearing out culverts along the highway.

One culvert that has been problematic is near Ute Pass Elementary, just off Highway 24. Flood waters earlier this week washed out the playground area behind the school. One school district employee was back at the school on Thursday assessing the damage and checking out where the fresh rainwater was going.

El Paso County approved money to protect the school and county right of ways though the water diverting measures. The county plans to install approximately 700 feet of TrapBag barriers.

"These barriers have been extensively tested and have worked well in floods throughout the Midwest," said Max Kirschbaum, Public Services Operations Manager for El Paso County.

Kirschbaum expects the cellular barriers to be shipped and installed by the end of next week.

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