Forecasters say the storm over the Waldo Canyon burn scar yesterday that produced flash flooding through Williams Canyon was quick-moving and dropped six-tenths of an inch of rain in about 15 minutes. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin has more.
Manitou Springs city officials were quick to praise education efforts and first-responder cooperation, but Police Chief Joe Ribeiro acknowledged the city’s warning siren didn’t work correctly.
“I personally went out to the siren to attempt to launch it yesterday. It did not launch. I’m not able to tell you right now whether it was human error, whether it was me that failed, or whether it was the system, but it is one of my tasks today to get that tested and see what the problem was and make sure it’s ready for next time.”
Ribeiro says right now they’re focusing primarily on clearing drainages and there’s no timeline for completion. He adds that the burned landscape means a change in runoff conditions. That can affect how well the culverts handle water and debris. Ribeiro calls yesterday a “good test,” but also issued a warning.
“We had a number of curiosity seekers who were actually moving toward the flash flood waters during our warning and during the event. After the event, we saw people standing, playing, and working in the debris. Please know that flash flood waters are extremely dangerous, and rise very quickly. We also have a propensity for secondary events. So just because the flash flood comes and the waters recede does not mean that that’s actually the end.”
No injuries have been reported, though more than a dozen buildings and some cars were affected by yesterday’s flooding.
Southern Colorado is changing a lot these days. We can help you keep up. Sign up for the KRCC Weekly Digest here and get the stories that matter to Southern Colorado, delivered straight to your inbox.