While the flash flooding in Fountain Creek didn’t physically affect Highway 24 directly, the threat did indirectly.
Highway 24 was closed twice because of flash flood warnings…the second time minutes after the first warning was lifted. After the first warning expired, cars flooded the highway expecting to be able to get through. At one point traffic backed up for nearly four miles from Cave of the Winds down to the Manitou Avenue exit.
“I have been watching chaos. I’ve been watching cars threatening to run the police officers over. It’s a little bit of insanity,” said Dan Herman who was watching as cars were being diverted off, trying to get into Manitou Springs.
Drivers were frustrated, some asking why the road is closed so often after spending millions on mitigation work.
“I honestly do think that there could be some possibility further down in the summer that we might lighten up on that but I can’t say that at this point,” said Kenneth Quintana with CDOT.
Quintana believes there are still some areas that could be susceptible to debris coming down if the right storm drops the right amount of rain on top of the perfect spot.
“I still believe there are places that we just haven’t seen a storm hit and that there’s still that potential we could have issues,” Quintana said.
Mother Nature’s unpredictability the reason why the road closures will remain so predictable.