The significant flooding event in Manitou Springs on Monday caused more infrastructure damage than first assessed in the area.
A local disaster declaration signed by the Mayor Ken Jaray on Thursday allows for the use of emergency funds and the ability to reach out to other agencies for assistance.
The July 23rd storm brought good news and bad. Fortunately, the storm has not dampened the visitor experiences in Manitou Springs. Some of our residents and businesses did suffer flood or hail damage, but most reports were relatively minor. I was delighted to see that many pitched in to help their neighbors. The City is as vibrant as ever, with great restaurants, shopping for all tastes, engaging activities for the entire family,. The bad news is the July 23rd storm caused damage most visitors will not see, but will nevertheless be very expensive for the City to fix.
The storms dropped 2.35 inches of rain on the city and surrounding watersheds within a 30 minute time frame.
The police chief pointed out this does not mean the city is leveled, as is obvious by driving around town. Most of the damage is behind the scenes.
Keep in mind that Manitou Springs is still open for business. Business owners and their employees were out in force the day afterwards for cleanup.
Preliminary estimates show the cleanup and response will cost the city $1.5 million, 15% of the 2018 General Fund. City council will discuss the distribution of funds.
The storm drain system has already been cleared of sediment which means the city believes it is ready for another flooding event. Right now they need to work on clearing secondary flooding systems of sediment and debris to expand the capability of handling floodwaters.
Everyone is reminded to take care of their own sidewalks and yards in clearing out any debris to avoid it getting into the storm drains and culverts.
Anyone who has damage to private property should report it to Manitou Springs Public Works – firstname.lastname@example.org – which will help if this becomes a larger disaster declaration. They’re looking for information on erosion, water in your basement, etc.
Sand bags are available at the Public Services Facility (101 Banks Place). You’ll need to drive into the yard for pick up of full or empty bags.