NewsCovering Colorado


Burn Scars present serious risk of flash floods this Spring

Posted at 5:18 AM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 08:10:43-04

As we continue to experience late season snows and more rain, we’re watching out for you with the dangers this could present to certain areas.

We’re talking about flooding. In fact, in some spots, state forecasters say its not a matter of “if” but “when”.

One of the biggest concern areas is the Spring Fire burn scar. This fire left behind conditions that could result in dangerous flash flooding. In particular for the towns of La Veta and Walsenburg.

For La Veta anything that rains on the central or south side of the burn scar, south of Highway 160, will likely cause flooding. The Cucharas River is the main flood source.

The same goes for Walsenburg. Walsenburg can get flooded from the Cucharas river as it flows out of La Veta and North Abeyta Creek. It doesn’t take much water for this to happen!

Here’s what you need to know. The National Weather Service says it will only take a half an inch of rain over the course of an hour to trigger a flash flood in a burn scar. Emergency management crews are asking folks in communities surrounding the Spring Fire burn scar to sign up for emergency alerts.

“As time goes on and we don’t have a significant event the chances pile up for that event to happen,” explained Huerfano County Administrator John Galusha. “If we don’t have a significant event this year the chances double next year and they double the year after that, so they keep doubling.”

“There’s a pretty good chance well have a hundred year storm in the next 10 years,” continued Galusha.

This isn’t just for folks in Huerfono county. We all saw how devastating flash floods can be during last years flooding in Manitou Springs. You can sign up for emergency alerts here. A flood can move fast, so every second of advance warning makes all the difference.

Danger has decreased near the burn scars in El Paso County, but flash flooding is still a possibility. Be sure to sign up for emergency notifications!