Fountain Creek damage in 2015 pegged at $76 million — The Pueblo Chieftain

Overton Road flood damage photo via KOAA.com.
Overton Road flood damage photo via KOAA.com.

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

More than one-quarter of the banks along Fountain Creek were severely damaged by last year’s continual high water that would cost $76 million to fully repair.

Mostly in Pueblo County.

That assessment was given Friday to the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District by Executive Director Larry Small…

That’s significant because it shows the prolonged flows from increased water in Fountain Creek are more destructive than the one-time spikes in volume typical of flash flooding. It also shows there was more damage than the high visibility impacts, such as the washout of Overton Road, the exposure of buried cables and utility lines, the threat to operational railroad tracks and damage to individual property owners.

The results came after an aerial survey that is part of collecting data for an upcoming needs assessment study. Both sides of Fountain Creek between Colorado Springs and Pueblo were studied, about 102 miles of river bank.

Severe damage — altering the shape of the bank or the course of the stream — was found along sections totaling 28 miles. The damaged areas are not in one place but spread throughout the 50 miles along Fountain Creek, Small explained.

Small estimated the damage at $76 million based on the average cost of restoration to stream banks at $500 per foot.

The district does not have money to make repairs on that scale. Right now, it is embarking on a $2.5 million project to repair about 1,500 feet of bank on the Masciantonio property in Pueblo County, about 10 miles north of Pueblo.

A demonstration project on the Frost property in El Paso County had been completed but washed out in the 2015 flooding because of the high volume of water over a six-week period.

Small said assessments of how to proceed will be determined with more on-the-ground inspections.

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