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Recent rainfall wreaks havoc on Cherry Creek State Park, leaves behind damaged roadway

cherry creek flooding.jpg
Posted at 12:42 PM, May 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-16 14:42:28-04

Mother Nature wreaked havoc in several spots around the Denver metro during last week’s heavy storms.

Cherry Creek State Park received six inches of rainfall over a three-day period, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), and the reservoir has risen 10 feet since Wednesday.

“I need a safe place to walk and train and this is a good place,” said Denver resident Pam Jones.

Jones is training to walk the Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile trail that goes through Spain, in August. She’s using the trails at Cherry Creek State Park to prepare.

“This is a very popular busy park,” said Jones.

With summer right around the corner, Jones is hoping a stretch of East Lake View Road gets fixed soon.

The road sustained major damage during the record rainfall. The water carved out two big sinkholes, buckling and breaking the road apart.

“This is what we call a 100-year event, and when we have those, things just don’t handle that type of force Mother Nature puts on us,” said Jason Trujillo, park manager of Cherry Creek State Park.

CPW hasn’t seen damage this bad since the early 1980s, according to Trujillo. In fact, the damaged road was just re-surfaced a few months ago.

“This road has been here for a long time. Minor patches have been done, but never to this extent,” said Trujillo.

He says repairs could likely take months.

While Cherry Creek got the worst of it, CPW says Castlewood Canyon is dealing with its own mess.

“They have some trails that are still closed, and footbridges that are impassable at the moment,” said Kara Van Hoose, CPW northeast region spokesperson. “They’re still assessing what they look like because the level of water hasn’t receded from the park.”

Until things are cleaned up and re-opened, CPW is asking people to keep their distance.

“We have things closed off for their protection, and so we can make sure we’re assessing the safety of all the parks,” said Trujillo.

CPW says the east and west boat ramps are also closed due to flooding. As for what’s next, the agency says it will connect with the experts to figure out how to repair the road.