Flood Information

Flood Mitigation News

Williams Canyon Update

The last footer for the wall has been poured. To see the poured footer, please follow this link.

Williams Canyon Lower Basin Wall Complete

To see the completed Lower Basin Wall, please follow this link.

$1,944,000 Grant Award for Williams Canyon/Canon Avenue Project

On March 18, the City of Manitou Springs received a letter from the Department of Local Affairs, indicating approval of a $1,944,000 grant to help fund flood mitigation efforts in the Williams Canyon/Canon Avenue neighborhood.  This grant compliments grants from El Paso County (Manitou’s sponsoring agency for the National Resources Conservation Service, Emergency, Water Protection Grant Funds), Governor’s Disaster Funds, Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT); as well as money used from the City's Reserve Fund. The total project addresses three phases – Debris catchment structures, drainage channel repairs, and street sheet-flow management strategies.  The project is estimated to cost $5,432,000. 

City Administrator Jack Benson indicated that Phase 1 of the project was funded through many state and county emergency funding sources but Phases 2 & 3, which traverse through the Narrows neighborhood, remained largely unfunded.  After reviewing the project, the Department of Local Affairs stepped up to complete this funding.  Benson noted that he had to read the award email several times before he could believe it.  “This has been a labor-intensive process, involving many people over a period of many months. There were days I thought it would fall apart.  This award is a godsend and closes the circle of effort by everyone from the State and County, to our City staff.”

Phase 1 is funded and currently out for bid.  Construction is anticipated to be awarded on April 8, 2014; with the construction start date to occur 10 days thereafter. Phases 2 & 3, which are the subject of this award, will begin design as soon as the State and City execute the required contract. 

Flood Mitigation Work begins on Ute Pass 

On February 12, 2014, a project commenced that was designed to improve water flow under U.S. 24.  The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is preparing to install an extra-large concrete box culvert, designed to carry excessive amounts of water.  Measuring 24 feet wide and 10 feet high, the culvert will be ten times larger than the 72 inch metal pipe currently under the highway.   

Beginning Saturday, Feb. 15, eastbound U.S. 24 will be closed and all traffic shifted to the westbound lanes – one lane in each direction.  The highway will remain in this configuration for about two weeks, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  When the eastbound side is complete, all traffic then will be moved to the eastbound lanes for another couple weeks, allowing construction to proceed on the westbound segment. 

The speed limit will be reduced to 35 mph and vehicles wider than 12 feet will not be allowed to travel through the work zone. 

PLEASE NOTE: Drivers should expect possible slowdowns or delays through the area during the morning and evening rush hours.

The project is scheduled for completion by April 30, 2014.

What Has the City Been Doing?

City-Sponsored Recovery Efforts:

  • List of collaborative projects between Manitou Springs and FEMA. (as of July 2, 2014)
  • Hired Wright Water Engineers to create strategies and design projects to help mitigate future flooding events.  The following are design concepts created to date. Note:  All three are subject to refinement and modification and will be clarified over the next several weeks. 
         Canon Avenue
         Williams Canyon
  • City staff has been working non-stop with both State and County Offices of Emergency Management (OEM) to address recovery funding.  Presently we have firmed up $120,000.00 in engineering/technical assistance funds, and $1.9 million in project construction money (25% in-kind/cash match required).
  • On and ongoing basis, Public Works crews have been cleaning up various areas around the city.
  • The Business of Arts Center, along with city staff, coordinated nearly 2,500 volunteers to help with clean-up and muck-out services for both business and residents affected by the flood.
  • With help from El Paso County, Public Works has removed nearly 3,000 cubic yards (or 4500 TONS) of debris, mud, slurry, branches, trees, and trash.
  • Public Works operated the street sweeper and water trucks for six hours each day, cleaning city streets.
  • Standard Parking temporarily suspended the parking program for ten days (even longer for both Canon and Park Avenues) to assist the downtown cleanup with power washers and manpower.
  • Public Works cleaned out the creek bed of obstacles and debris.  They also re-established the stormwater channel along Canon Avenue.
  • Both the city and El Paso County-- hosted by the BAC-- maintained a Disaster Assistance Center to address everything from emotional distress following the flood to housing recovery related issues.
  • The city has expanded its website to disemminate all post-recovery resources available.
  • The city, along with El Paso County, hosted a community forum on flood insurance claims, resources, and Q & A.
  • The city, along with the Small Business Administration, hosted the Small Business Loan Crisis Center from September 4th through September 12th at Manitou Springs City Hall.
  • iManitou is addressing grants to bolster marketing of Manitou businesses.
  • The City worked with the Pikes Peak Marathon and Commonwheel Artists to make certain both of these large annual events went forward despite challenges due to flooding.
  • Completed Asphalt Repairs:
        Serpentine Drive
        Rock Hill @ Ute Trail
        Montcalm/Capitol Hill
        El Paso Blvd.
        El Monte
        200 Block of Crystak Park Road
        Crystal Park Road at CSU Pole
        348 Crystal Hills Blvd. @ Clarksley Road
        Fairmont and Edgewood
        Upper Canon below Hwy 24 Overpass
        Tyler Street Road 
        451 Crystal Hills Blvd.
        Crystal Park Road @ Sutherland Road
        500 Block El Paso
  • Completed Milling Repairs:
        West Midland (west of Uinta)
        Bond Street
        Cedar Lane
  • Debris Removal City-wide Including:
        600 Block Ruxton Avenue-debris and boulders on road
        400 Block of El Paso-large rock next to the road
        Crystal Park Road Debris
  • Ongoing and Completed Drainage Repairs:
        Spring Street-added culvert under parking area/rebuild a berm on uphill side
        Burns Road-replaced culvert.  Refilled ditch line due to erosion
        Upper Canon below Hwy 24 overpass, damaged drain
        Alpine Trail drainage ditch
        301 Washington Avenue drain-concrete floor needs to be replaced
        Capitol Hill drainage behind Castle-washout in drainage
        Brook Street drainage pan damaged-needs to be replaced
  • Ongoing and Completed Park Repairs:
        Soda Springs west side-mud/water hole needs to be filled
        Soda Springs west side-fence needs to be repaired
        Soda Springs west side-replace broken 6" water main
        Soda Springs east side-repaired exposed irrigation system
        Soda Springs east side-repair retaining wall
        Soda Springs east side-replace fence along creek
        Soda Springs east side-repair exposed utilities
        Soda Springs east side-clean and replant gardens
        Soda Springs east side-fill in low spots with clean decomposed granite
        Schryver Park-replace bridge over dam
        Schyver Park-repair/replace water intake
        Memorial Park-repair/replace water intake
        Fire Department-repair/replace bridge
  • Top Priority Current and Future Projects:
        7x7 culvert is 3/4 full of debris at Post Office-removal needed
        City Hall foundation is sinking
        Park Avenue/Canon intersection road is undermined
        Mayfair Bridge-undermining on northwest side
        Upper Crystal Park Road-3 pipes culvert is obstructed with sediment
        Drainage from elementary school downhill is damage and road is undermined
        Winona-replace asphalt due to undermining, replace curb & gutter, remove PVC
        Crystal Hills Blvd/Hwy 24 overpass-large sinkhole, 48" culvert damaged
        300 Block Ruxton-block fell into creek, remove and rebuild retaining wall
        Lafayette Bridge-overlay and replace railings
        Serpentine Drive-drainage under road, replace headwall to downhill culvert
        Geneva Trail-guardrail is failing, overlay needs to be repaired
        Pine Ridge-guardrail is failing
        Oak Street/Santa Fe-concrete culvert failed and needs to be replaced
        Sand trap on top of Pawnee needs to be emptied and walls repaired

Pikes Peak Regional Recovery Efforts

Flood Monitoring Devices to be Set Up in Waldo Canyon

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will be installing rain monitoring equipment in Waldo Canyon beginning November 12.  Installing the video monitoring equipment will provide:

  • A real time video feed camera, providing CDOT and USGS with the ability to see if a rain event is producing debris flow or just water
  • A non-contact stage gauge, measuring the depth of flow in Waldo Canyon with radar
  • An additional rain gauge, bolstering CDOT/USGS’s network of rain gauges in the canyon burn scar area 

Interagency Preparedness - Pikes Peak Regional Recovery Group

For more information on the interagency preparation being done during this flood season, click on the link to find out how these agencies are working together to keep our citizens safe.

Fires & Flash Flooding Recovery Update: September 2013 - El Paso County

Click to view the report.

Flood Recovery Assistance

Flood Recovery Assistance - City

Flood recovery assistance is available through the City of Manitou Springs. To request assistance, call Flood Recovery Manager, Roger Miller, at 719-685-2593 contact him at rmiller@comsgov.com.

Flood Recovery Assistance - County

If your property was damaged or is at increased risk of flooding due to the Waldo Canyon fire, you may be eligible for a reimbursement of up to 75% of the costs you spend to protect your property from future flood damage.  Eligible costs may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the cost of constructing flood barriers, drainage channel stabilization, hill slope erosion protection, sediment/debris traps and other watershed protection measures.  Some project costs that have already been spent may be eligible for reimbursement if the costs were incurred after September 28, 2012. 

Click on the links to view the letter from El Paso County and the application for NRCS reimbursement.

Disaster Assistance - FEMA
If you recently sustained loss or damage due to severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides, you may be eligible for disaster aid.  To register, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Or, register online at www.disasterassistance.govFEMA When you register for disaster assistance, please have the following available: 

  • Private insurance information, if available
  • Address and zip code of the damaged property
  • Directions to the damaged home or property
  • Telephone number where FEMA can reach you
  • Social Security Number

Small Business Administration (SBA) Low-interest Loans to Flood Victims

On Friday, August 30, 2013, the SBA announced low interest loans would be made available to Colorado residents and business owners affected by flooding; including those affected by the August 9 flood in Manitou Springs. Beginning Wednesday, September 4, SBA representatives will be on hand at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about SBA's disaster loan program and assist with the application process.  The deadline to apply for property damage is October 29, 2013 and the deadline to return economic injury application is May 30, 2014.  Click to view the SBA press release.

National Flood Insurance Program
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) oversees the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), that assists and educates property owners in all things flood insurance.  To find out what NFIP has to offer, click on the following links:

  • NFIP Brochure: What You Need to Know About Federal Disaster Assistance and National Flood Insurance.
  • NFIP: Myths and Facts about the Program.  This sheet answers many questions that people generally have about flood insurance, giving them the confidence to purchase flood insurance, thus protecting their families and their property.
  • NFIP: Flood Insurance Claims Handbook.  This handbook walks you through the entire claims process, including what you should do before a flood happens.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

Recovery for those who own old or historic buildings carries its own unique challenges.  Click for information provided by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Help is Needed - What You Can Do

How Can I Help?

If you would like to volunteer to assist with cleanup or other recovery efforts, call the Flood Recovery Manager, Roger Miller, at 719-685-2593 or send an email at rmiller@comsgov.com.

To make a donation in behalf of Manitou Springs flooding victims, make checks payable to City of Manitou Springs, 606 Manitou Avenue, Manitou Springs, CO 80829. Please note on the memo line whether you desire to donate toward the Victim Relief Fund or the City Clean-up Fund. All donations are greatly appreciated.

Manitou Emergency Recovery Fund 

The Manitou Emergency Recovery Fund (MERF) was founded in September 2013 as a result of flood and fire danger in Manitou Springs. To combat the impact of future natural disasters, the nonprofit raises and invests funds in support of Manitou Springs' relief and longer-term recovery initiatives. The fiscal sponsor is the Pikes Peak Community Foundation.  Click for Information on How to Donate.Pikes Peak Community Foundation

Be Prepared - Know How to Stay Safe

Evacuation Route Map

The Evacuation Route Map should be utilized during your disaster preparedness.  Note the City of Manitou Springs is divided into six evacuation zones.  Each zone is color-coded.  Locate your neighborhood on the map, know which evacuation zone your home or business is in, and note the evacuation route set for that zone. It is imperative to remember during flood evacuation, retreat to higher ground.  Do not try to drive out of town in your vehicle; you could be trapped in your car, surrounded by rising water.  Please evacuate on foot to higher ground.

Keep Safe and Healthy During Disaster Recovery
During recovery, your highest priority is your health and the health of your family.  El Paso County Health Department has good information about avoiding sickness while you recover from flooding.  Click on the links to view these helpful flyers:

If you own a food establishment damaged by the flood, here is a comprehensive guide outlining the steps to take prior to reopening your establishment

El Paso County also compiled a list of resource referrals available to citizens during times of need.  Just call 211 from your home phone or 955-0742 from your cell to access Helping Hands-- Colorado Springs Community Resources.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers this fact sheet for those assisting with your home or business cleanup. 

Red Cross Focuses on Emotional Health Following a Disaster
Concerned parents can refer to "Helping Children Cope With Disaster", which discusses age-specific common reactions children may exhibit following a disaster, how to talk with your kids about the event, and family preparedness before a disaster strikes.

"Taking Care of Your Emotional Health After a Disaster" offers insight into possible symptoms of stress following an event, and the steps you can take to feel better.

The booklet "Picking up the Pieces After A Disaster" is a comprehensive step-by-step guide to all facets of your recovery-- emotional health, the recovery of your home and personal property, etc.  The booklet also includes helpful contact information for the replacement of vital documents. For additional information, visit www.redcross.org.

Flash Flood Preparedness Guide
Preparation is key to mitigating the dangers of flash flooding.  Click to view the flood preparedness guide and read important information that will help you prepare for the upcoming rainy season. 

Useful Safety Tips

  • Get ideas on how to make an emergency plan and an emergency kit for your family, your work, and visitors.  Visit http://www.readycolorado.com to help you formulate your emergency plans.
  • Get educated!  An excellent resource for flood information can be found on the FEMA webpage: http://www.ready.gov/floods 

Be Prepared - Know How to Protect Your Property 

Sand and Sandbags Available to the Public
The City of Manitou is providing pre-filled sandbags to the public and sand and empty sandbags that may be self-filled. Pre-filled sandbags can be obtained outside the Public Works gate at 101 Banks place. There is also a dumpster on the side of the road behind Mansions Park with sand and sand bags that the public is welcome to take and fill. 

Mitigation Ideas for Reducing Flood Loss

FEMA offers a comprehensive and detailed booklet called Protecting Your Home and Property From Flood Damage(2.62Mb pdf), that includes useful information on property cleanup, selecting a contractor, repair tips for a flood-damaged property, and mitigation suggestions and diagrams to flood-proof your home. 

Useful Tips to Protect Your Property 

  • Assess your property for flood risk. If you want to place sandbags in flood-prone areas around your property, the City has sandbags and fill material available to you.  Check to see if you have flood insurance (homeowner policies seldom cover flood events). Property owners and renters can get flood insurance. Coverage may be obtained through local insurance agents familiar with flood insurance, or an agent may be located on the web at floodsmart.gov, or through NFIP at (888) 379-9531.
  • Do not dump trash, limbs, leaves or other debris into drainage channels whether they are dry or flowing.
  • Keep all drainages and creeks on your property free of limbs and debris.
  • Report clogged drainage channels, creeks, or storm drains to the Public Works Department as soon as possible.
  • Take a look at what the Public Works Stormwater Division does for you: Drainage System Maintenance Standard Operating Procedures

Preparedness Videos

Manitou Springs Town Hall Meeting
Watch a video of our flood preparedness meeting.video

El Paso County Flood Preparedness Video

Watch the county's flood preparedness video.video