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Manitou Springs dodges hail, gets just rain Monday

Several roads briefly closed due to flooding threat

Manitou Springs Dodges Hail, Gets Just Rain

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - The hail that ravaged parts of the Colorado Springs area Monday missed Manitou Springs but authorities were more concerned about a steady rain.

Rain fell just after 2 p.m., and intensified enough within an hour that several roads were briefly closed.

"The roads we closed were on the north side of town, along the lowest points of Fountain Creek," said Officer Josh Williamson of the Manitou Springs Police Department.  "We closed them just as a precaution."

Serpentine Drive, El Paso Boulevard, Lover's Lane and Cañon Avenue were the affected streets.

For a time, it appeared that U.S. 24 through nearby Ute Pass might close for the first time since 2014.  However, the Colorado Department of Transportation didn't find it necessary to do so.

A CDOT crew parked for several hours at the east end of the pass, ready to lower a series of closure gates to keep traffic out, under a new protocol that began last year.

Part of the protocol includes a CDOT front-end loader traveling through the pass several times, prepared to scoop water or debris off the highway.

"We didn't see anything today," the driver said.  "But we checked the rain gauges on the Waldo Canyon burn scar.  It's saturated.  If it rains harder, we could get a mess."

The highway and town have not had significant floods since 2014, partly because of a host of flood mitigation projects and partly because the area hasn't been tested with storms as strong as those that hit after the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire and the 2013 Black Forest Fire.

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