Local News

Camping suspended in Huerfano County

Camp Concerns

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Boy Scouts who were forced to evacuate in Huerfano County are either going home or staying in a shelter again Thursday night.
That's because of two flash floods in two weeks.
Some campers got to go home, after Mother Nature cut an outdoors trip short.
"After last night's flood up at the Scout Ranch and after conferring with the scout leaders, we've determined it's better to go ahead and end the scout season," said Sheriff Bruce Neumann, Huerfano County.
Two floods in two weeks lead to a new directive by the Sheriffs Office: no camping if there's a 30 percent chance of rain.
"We believe a very high risk. Just like any burn scar area there's just nothing to contain the water when it starts raining, and we're having a lot more rain than normal," Neumann said.
But more rain shouldn't have been a surprise given the forecasts early on in the monsoon season. And the area is spread out, so it takes time to evacuate those campers.
Still, Boy Scouts executive Michael Stewart says their evacuation protocol was successful.
"The bottom line is we have spent all last year planting a lot of grass seed specially formulated for that area with trees, building berms putting up contours to hold the water up on the mountain," Stewart said. "It's the property owners above us, the Bureau of Land and Management and the Forestry Service that's not doing anything. And they've told us that."
The campgrounds will be closed until next year, giving the Army Corps of Engineers a chance to look at the grounds and see that close calls don't happen again.
Five kids were injured in Wednesday night's flood. Two of them were swept away in a stream nearby but were rescued.
They only suffered cuts and scrapes.

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