Sep 17, 2013 7:27 PM by Zach Thaxton
Damage to public infrastructure from flash flooding in Colorado Springs totals at least $10 million, according to Emergency Management Director Bret Waters. That estimate is "conservative" and preliminary Waters says, and doesn't include damage to homes or businesses.
Waters and about a half dozen other area leaders revealed that and other details of the flooding aftermath at a press briefing at the City Administration Building downtown Tuesday morning. Waters also announced that voluntary evacuations have been lifted for people living along Cheyenne Creek on the city's west side.
Mayor Steve Bach praised emergency responders and utility crews "working 20-hour shifts" to keep the community as safe and functional as possible, despite challenges brought on by the flooding. Colorado Springs Fire Department Chief Chris Riley, less than a week into his new job, lauded the efforts of his crews, which he says rescued three people from raging flood waters. CSFD has sent nine firefighters to help in the Boulder area, Riley said.
El Paso County Public Health Director Jill Law warned of the dangers ever-present during the cleanup process and pleaded with parents not to allow their young children to help out. "This is really adult work or older-adolescent work," Law said. "Of course we want our kids to pitch in, but we don't always have the ability to control whether they get something in their mouth or in their eyes." Law said a Disaster Assistance Center will open soon -- for the fourth time in 16 months for disasters in the region -- and a new round of tetanus vaccine will be ordered.