Local News

Waldo Canyon Fire victims should prepare for flash flooding

Flash flood concerns rising near burn scar

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - In Colorado, many deal with the risk of losing property or their lives because of flash flooding every year. The recent Waldo Canyon Fire makes waterways a potential danger for hundreds of people on the west side of Colorado Springs and unincorporated El Paso County.

Not even the U.S. Forest Service can say exactly what kind of impact the burn zone will have on water runoff. They have a BEAR team - Burned Area Emergency Response team - on its way to address land rehabilitation questions.

"There's a whole host of tools that the BEAR team has to... address, 'OK now how do we protect homes and communities from the potential for debris movement and water runoff?' That kind of stuff," said Rich Harvey, incident commander on the Waldo Canyon Fire.

In response to the potential disaster, the city of Colorado Springs and El Paso County hosted an informational meeting for the public on the dangers of flash flooding.

"There's no vegetation up there, the slopes are bare-- there's going to be increased erosion," said Jamie Prochno, who represents the Colorado Water Conservation Board. "A small rainstorm that may have created a small flood may be a 10-year flood that could now be a 100-year flood."

FEMA and the home insurance industry were also represented. Home owners learned that flood insurance is available but doesn't kick in until 30 days after the policy is purchased.


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