Manitou maintains mitigation efforts four years after devastatin - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Manitou maintains mitigation efforts four years after devastating floods

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The deadly mudslides in California are bringing back a lot of painful memories for folks in Manitou Springs who went through devastating flash flooding after the Waldo Canyon Fire.

More than four years later, the city of Manitou Springs is still working toward preventing something like this from happening again.

It's left quite a mark on homeowners who were left behind to pick up the pieces.

"It's more than just a structural loss," Natalie Johnson, a Manitou homeowner said.

Johnson has lived in Manitou for 15 years, meaning, she was here through the worst of it.

She watched the Waldo Canyon Fire destroy hundreds of homes and threaten Manitou back in 2012 and a year later, devastating floods hit her city harder than ever before.

"It was very difficult to feel sort of safe and it also took me a minute to reassess how I was living here," she said.

"Of course it has affected insurance, the viability of businesses and resulted in the expensure of an awful lot of money," David Armstrong, a Manitou homeowner said.

City planners say it cost the community several million dollars to not only clean up but to mitigate and work towards preventing something like this from happening again.

"It's hard to remind folks of what happened but people have been really willing to dig in and I think, keep the conversation going," Karen Berchtold, a spokesperson for the Manitou Springs Planning Department said.

Four years after the storm, four major projects now in the works to improve flood control, reduce hazards, move wastewater and even extend the Creek Walk Trail.

"I think we're in a really unique place and I don't think Manitou has ever been in that place before," Johnson said.

Progress, growth and now, better hope for the future.

"Potentially, this is a new reality and we need to figure out how we're going to live with mother nature and at the end of the day, I think it has a little more say," she said.

Public comment is still needed for those four projects.

For more information, click here.

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