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County says culverts working in fight against flooding

County says culverts working in fight against flooding

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - An El Paso County engineer said Monday that two culverts installed in Black Forest to reduce flash flooding are performing well.

A large culvert was installed under Casey Lane after heavy rain washed it out last year. El Paso County recently finished replacing a broken single culvert under Shoup Road with five culverts next to each other to accommodate flash flooding. 

Culverts and bridges in the Kettle Creek watershed were damaged or destroyed by heavy debris and flash flooding that's hit the area because of the Black Forest Fire wildfire.

Resident Skyler Adams said work on Shoup Road's culvert was inconvenient, but it will be worth it.

"It's been an extreme upgrade from what it was," said Adams.

Homeowners living upstream are still struggling to cope with flash flooding on their properties.

Homeowner Lis Schley said thick mud, ash-colored water and trash flow through her property during heavy rain. It hasn't happened yet this summer, but it did several times last year.

"It would pour through the yard, take out whatever was there," said Schley.

Flash flooding has left a muddy ditch through her property.  It's been frustrating because Schley has also been trying to repair her home that was damaged in the wildfire.

"It erases the work we do, continuously. For the past year you start working on it and then it (flash flooding) goes through," said Schley.

She has asked El Paso County for assistance but because her home is on private property, she hasn't received any help. She has spent $10,000 so far on flood repairs and expects that tab to go up.

"I expect the driveway to wash out again," said Schley.

She would like to see her backyard to return to the way it looked before flooding, but doesn't know if that's possible.

"I don't think I have thought that far ahead yet, it doesn't seem possible now but we have been taking everything one day at a time, one project at a time," said Schley.

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