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Colorado recovery officer tours Waldo burn scar

Colorado recovery officer tours Waldo burn scar

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Colorado's new chief recovery officer, Molly Urbina, toured flash flood mitigation efforts in Ute Pass on Thursday.

Several El Paso County commissioners attended the tour, along with stormwater coordinators and other county employees. 

It was Urbina's first visit to the Waldo Canyon burn scar.

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Urbina's appointment in January. 

Urbina was previously the deputy manager at Denver's Community Planning and Development Department. 

She will coordinate with all state agencies and local and federal partners to ensure Colorado continues a coordinated and thoughtful recovery effort after the September flooding.

'Until you see it in person, you don't realize how much has actually happened," Urbina said. 

She said she was impressed with the amount of mitigation work that has been done.

John Chavez, El Paso County stormwater quality coordinator, showed Urbina and others the Pyramid Mountain Estates Cul-De-Sac Project. 

Mitigation work has been done to minimize debris flow and to slow down floodwaters before they reacheU.S. 24 and Cascade.

"This project was very important because it was one area where we were high up in the watershed," Chavez said.  "That gave us the opportunity to do some grade control and slow the water down."

Urbina said she has also visited the flood damage in northern Colorado.  She said the state is working to assess all the recovery efforts across the state to decide how the state may be able to help with long-term recovery.

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