Heavy rain combined with hail is why there is an unwanted summer hiatus at El Paso County’s, Fountain Creek Nature Center. The main building housing the information center and displays is closed because flood water went from the front to the back of the building.
"There’s fans out, dehumidifiers and there’s equipment all throughout the exhibit room at the nature center with the wires and fans,” said El Paso County, Division Manager for Recreation and Cultural Services, Todd Marts, “To be safe we decided we’re going to close the nature center down."
The water covered the upper floor and flowed down to the lower level of the building.
There are storm drains outside near the front of the building. Piles of hail mixed with leaves ripped from trees and stopped water from draining. "There are some water events that are just hard to deal with no matter what,” said Marts. The flood water headed to the front doors and into the nature center.
This latest hail damage comes just a month after another hail storm damaged the centers roof. Repairs to the roof are not yet complete.
Popular summer kids nature camps will not be canceled. "We decided it was worth it to just work around the flooding and the kids are still in camp." Staff teaches young people that nature adapts, and that is the approach to dealing with the damage. The camps for kids go from a lot of time outside, to even more time outside.
The plan for reopening depends on how long it takes to get things dry.