Flash Flood Information
Colorado Springs, CO, Thursday, September 13, 2012 – On Wednesday night, more than 50 people gathered at Manitou Elementary School to hear from local agencies in regard to flash flood danger resulting from the Waldo Canyon Fire Burn Scar.
Tom Magnuson, meteorologist from the NOAA National Weather Service spoke about the importance of watching and predicting rain over the burn scar and the standards for issuing a flash flood watch or warning. He was on duty on July 30 when there was flash flooding and debris flows coming off the scar into Ute Pass.
Andy Stecklein, project engineer with the Colorado Department of Transportation, said CDOT understood the importance of U.S. Highway 24 to the community.
Erin May, from FEMA, answered questions about flood insurance and encouraged everyone to purchase it.
Greg Langer from National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) said he was there to answer question and help home owners on private property. Langer indicated that a major wildfires all over the country have resulted in requests for millions of dollars to support mitigation efforts for many fires but there is no guarantee that congress will approve any of these competing requests in its upcoming budget process. Langer encouraged residents to work together to help themselves rather than wait for appropriations from Congress which will be slow coming if at all.
One of the most appreciated speakers was Carol Ekarius, executive director of the Coalition of the Upper South Platte (CUSP). Ekarius spoke about her group’s previous experience with post fire floods after the Hayman Fire and presented slides of damaged road and houses. She offered residents help and said CUSP staff would be happy to meet with individual home owners to talk about flood danger and possible mitigation.
Ekarius has been meeting with County officials for several weeks and is continuing to work on coordinating mitigation efforts including efforts to solicit deploy groups of volunteer organizations which were effective in mitigation efforts after the Hayman fire.
Highlights of information from the Manitou Meeting:
Flash Flood Information
The Waldo Canyon Fire Burn Scar Will Increase the Risk of Flash Flooding for the Next Several Years. Speak with your insurance agent about Flood Insurance.
U.S. Geological Survey Water Alert System
USGS Water Alert System is a website that is open to the public. This website allows residents to establish an alert for numerous gages in the County. There are currently 4 gages in the burn scar area.
To see all the gages in the County use the URL below.
If you are interested in subscribing to receive alerts from the 4 new gages that have been placed in the burn area use the URLs below, then click on "Subscribe to Water Alert" (located below the graph). Once you do this a series of questions need to be answered. Here is the info that is suggested:
• Enter your email address
• Click on hourly notifications
• Click on 1 hour (inches)
• Click on "Greater than"
• Place .5 in the "Real-time value is greater than: "
• Check that you read and acknowledge the disclaimer
• Click on Submit
• You will get a confirmation email and will need to reply to close the loop
Sand Gulch precipitation station:
Upper Waldo above Cascade
Upper Williams Canyon:
Lower Waldo above Manitou:
Flood Preparedness Information:
http://shr.elpasoco.com/ El Paso County Sheriff’s Office http://shr.elpasoco.com/Waldo+Canyon+Fire+Information.htm
www.FloodSmart.gov National Flood Insurance Program Information
www.Ready.gov FEMA preparedness website
www.Springsgov.com City of Colorado Springs http://www.springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=4488
Burned Area Emergency Response Team Information:
This web site has all the BAER reports.
Maps of Burn/Flood Areas
This link will help you navigate through the Waldo burn area quickly. Just type your address in the info bar on the right side of this screen. Although your property may or may not be mapped in the floodplain, you are encouraged to look at the FEMA Insurance and talk with an agent. Your house may very well be in the path of hillside sheet erosion as well as excessive flows and debris runoff.
This link provides data for historic Surficial Geology with Mudslides and Landslide and Rockfall Susceptibility Map of Colorado Springs and the Waldo Canyon Burn Area - Colorado Geological Survey.
NRCS: National Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides private landowners relief from imminent hazard to life and property causes by a natural disasters.
Contact: Greg Langer, 632-9598
Coalition for the Upper South Platte: CUSP
CUSP has Firewise information and Flash Flood information and has experience working with individual home owners on fire/post fire projects including the Hayman Fire. Will help with Waldo Canyon Fire/Flood efforts.
CSU Extension has Firewise information and Flash Flood information
Funding assistance for residents affected by the fire and subsequent flooding
Lutheran Family Services: 227-7571
Westside Cares: 389-0759
Mercy’s Gate: 277-7470
Housing Authority of Colorado Springs: 387-6700 (you do not have to be a Colorado Springs resident)
Ecumenical Social Ministries: 636-1916
Discover Goodwill: 635-4483
Catholic Charities: 636-2345
Red Cross: 632-3563
Pikes Peak United Way: 632.1543
NOAA Weather Radios
Consider the investment in a weather radio that can alert you to potential storms that can cause flooding in your area. They are available at most stores that have electronic departments.
For the deaf and hard of hearing, Midland Communications offers a NOAA radio with a light strobe and bed vibrator. They are available online at:
Contact: Dave Rose
Public Information Officer
Phone: 520-6540 Cell: 337-9239