Flash-flood maps available for Waldo Canyon burn area

By: matt steiner matt.steiner@gazette.com
July 24, 2013 Updated: August 10, 2013 at 8:28 am
photo - Clickable maps are available on www.springsgov.com, click on Flood Risk Info.
Courtesy of Colorado Springs City government
Clickable maps are available on www.springsgov.com, click on Flood Risk Info. Courtesy of Colorado Springs City government 

Interactive Waldo Canyon burn area flash-flood maps on the El Paso County and Colorado Springs websites were updated Wednesday and show final data for areas near Fountain, Ute and Camp creeks.

The new data came from a "values at risk" analysis conducted by The Matrix Design Group beginning shortly after the Waldo Canyon fire was contained in July 2012.

The updated maps are posted on flood information pages at springsgov.com and elpasoco.com.

Joel Quevillon, an El Paso County spokesman, said the there were only minor changes to preliminary maps revealed in late May. Quevillon said a few new addresses have been added to the flood plains and updates to geographic terrain are now reflected.

The most significant upgrades add information on potential effects if the Waldo Canyon burn scar receives rainfall amounts of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 1.75 and 2.0 inches per hour. The maps released May 28 only gave data for rainfall at 1.75 inces per hour.

"We originally put out the first maps as a safety measure," Quevillon said. "We wanted people to know that there was a flood risk."

The maps designate potential flooding areas using a color-coded system. Those in the red zone could get water 4 feet deep or more during a flash flood, the study said. Yellow-shaded zones might receive 2 to 4 feet while green areas should be less than 2 feet.

Matrix is still compiling its final figures for North and South Douglas creeks and is expected to update maps for those areas near Mountain Shadows in August. Quevillon said the Douglas Creek updates will show "significant changes" when compared with the preliminary findings.

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