COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - While Colorado Springs builds new projects for protection against flooding from the Waldo Canyon burn scar, the city also is spending money to maintain two existing drainage channels in west side neighborhoods.
The city has spent nearly $9 million cleaning up and repairing Douglas Creek through Mountain Shadows and along Centennial Boulevard, and Camp Creek along 30th Street.
Workers removed debris and excess vegetation, and repaired damaged sections of concrete.
In addition to flooding concerns, "that was another issue -- the cement and rocks flowing down," said Kathy Gann, who lives along Camp Creek. "The cement is coming from the bottom of the ditch. But I like what's been done."
Marcena Springer lives along Douglas Creek. She's thankful to the city for the drainage channel upgrades.
"We can't say enough," she said. "We'd had all we could stand with the fires, and to be flooded would just have been one thing too many."
Future city plans include redesigning Camp Creek and possibly buying residents out of some parts of the flood plain.
Tim Mitros, the city's stormwater manager, said previous catch nets and retention ponds have protected the channels from more damage from strong runoff and debris.
The channels have worked so well at preventing floods that most neighbors feel confident enough to remove sandbags used to protect their property.
"We had the side of our house full of sandbags, probably more than 100," Gann said. "After the big flood in September, we took them down because nothing really happened."
However, Springer still has sandbags around the side of her home that faces Douglas Creek.
"I need help," she said, smiling. "I can't haul all those sandbags by myself. The sandbags have to come down."