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Long-time stable owner says recent flood was worst he has seen

Long-time stable owner says recent flood was worst he has se

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Homes and businesses continued to piece together their properties Sunday, nine days after the clouds opened and drenched the Pikes Peak area with heavy rain.

The Stables at the Broadmoor was hit hard by heavy rain. It's located along Old Stage Road in El Paso County. The area saw 19 inches of rain in several days.

To owner Hugh Trabandt, it's a piece of heaven tucked away in the back woods. The Stables at the Broadmoor is home to horses, buffalo, elk and his family's business. Even this natural treasure couldn't escape mother nature's wrath.

"The flood of '65, the Big Thomspson Canyon (flood), the Ute Pass (flood), this is not by any means the first time," said Trabrandt recounting past floods in the area.

During this latest flood, water tore a hole in the dam at the Stables at the Broadmoor, draining their pond. The water broke through their corral and damaged some trails within the property.

It will take time and thousands of dollars to repair the damage. Trabandt has weathered storms in the past, but this was different.

"This is not by any means the first time, I will not argue that this might have been the worst," said Trabandt.

Trabandt has run the business for more than 20 years. During peak season, around 85 customers ride along the property's trails a day. Customers can also get a glimpse inside the stable's wildlife preserve which is home to elk and two groups of buffalo. 

The stables had to shut its doors for a couple days to clean up after the flood. Work continued Sunday mending its driveway and the trailhead nearby. Trabandt was most concerned about getting Old Stage Road reopened as quickly as possible. It was washed out and shutdown for several days because of the rain, turning away would-be customers.

"The road is our lifeline, if we don't have a road, we have nothing," said Trabandt.

Before the road reopened, Trabant's family and the stable's caretaker had to hike or use horses to get food and fuel to the property for several days because large sections of the road were taken out making it impassable.  The family depends on feed for keep their horses fed in order to preserve the wildflowers and natural grasses along property.

"Each trip was barely enough to that night," said Trabandt.

Still, he says it could have been worse.

"This could have happened in July when our business is peaking," said Trabandt. He's grateful the heavy rain didn't hit during their busiest month because staying closed for a few days would have cost a lot of money.

The Stables at the Broadmoor was in full swing Sunday running several tours throughout the day. It's back open for business, but there is still a lot of work to do. Hardwork is nothing new for this family. They've spent 20 years building up their business and they've constructed nearly everything on the property themselves.

"Every time we had something put together we could have a snow storm and some of things would break down and we had to start over again," said Trabandt remembering earlier days at the stables.

It may be a long road to recovery, but rain will not diminish his family's resiliency that's kept the business thriving for more than 20 years.

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