Jul 15, 2014 8:54 PM by Lena Howland

Broken canal floods Nepesta

Parts of Nepesta, east of Pueblo, are still underwater after some serious flooding early Tuesday morning.

It was a storm so strong...

"It looked like almost a stroke light outside," William McCanless, a 20-year resident said.

With the rain so heavy...

"The lightning was constant, just flashing on and off, on and off," he said.

That it broke through the walls of the Colorado Canal.

"The storm hit when they're trying to push a bunch of water through, and it weakened the canal walls and what it does, is it just starts spilling over," Joe Dolzani, spokesman of the Colorado Department of Transportation said.

The water took over miles of Nepesta, washing out part of Highway 96 along the way.

"So when the heavy rain comes through, added with the canal break and it flooded this whole section of road and trying to make its way back down the river and closed the road," Dolzani said.

A road completely gave out a set of rail-road tracks, causing massive amounts of water to get through.

"We probably haven't seen water like this in 14, 15 years," he said.

One local tells us the damage is unlike anything he's ever seen out here before.

"I'm seeing a lot of damage. It's eroding all of the ground, the way it swirls," Jerry Harris, a Nepesta resident said.

And feeding the cattle... will now be more of a challenge.

"It's hard on the grass where the cattle eat so I gotta feed the cattle by hand now, hay," Harris said.

The Colorado Department of Transportation tells us this could easily happen again if the rain continues.

"This is what happens, generally, is the canal will give out and our road will sustain damage," Dolzani said.

"Mother nature doesn't tell you what's going to happen," Harris said.

No one was injured in the flood but folks in Nepesta still have quite a bit of cleanup ahead.


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