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Aug 5, 2013 12:24 AM by Tony Spehar -

Another round of flash flooding in Black Forest washes out roads

The damage and the frustration is starting to add up in Black Forest after another round of flash flooding hit on Sunday afternoon.

After a few minutes of heavy rain Shoup Road near Tia Lane, one of the main trouble spots during flooding, was blocked by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and the familiar sight of black water and debris returned to fields that Macolm McClain has owned since 1987. McClain often sees the worst of the water flow during flooding and the damage is starting to add up.

"We lost all this fence here and we lost an equal amount down there," McClain described, pointing to spots across his property. "The neighbors lost some fence, the neighbors down there are flooded out."

McClain has stacked up as many sandbags as he can manage, but his big concern is the culvert that runs under Shoup Road. He says the pipe is in bad shape and just can't handle the amount of water that comes down whenever a heavy rain storm hits the Black Forest burn scar. The water, mud and other debris pools on the northern side of the road until it rises so high it flows over the top.

"You can see the way the bank is washing away here," he said pointing to mud falling away from the culvert. "We're all of us at risk because this is our way to get out of here in case of fire or flood."

Not far down the path of Sunday's flooding McClain's fears were justified. A clogged culvert underneath Casey Lane caused water to flow over the top of the road and wash it out. A 30-foot wide, 12-foot deep gap was opened up and tore away a bridge running over the drainage. Four homes, including the home of Diane Ketels, were cut-off from Shoup Road.

"A sinkhole started in right here and then it just completely opened up, I mean the big pipe in the middle washed away and everything," Ketels described looking over the washout. "It was insane, there was a whole lake of water here and it just flooded."

Ketels has lived on Casey Lane for 30-years, she said she'd never seen anything like the flash flooding that has struck three-times in the past week.

"I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it, it's just crazy to know that that's what happened," she said of the washout. "That's just the force of nature though."

Back at his home, Malcolm McClain said he's afraid the same sort of washout will happen to the culvert under Shoup Road.

"If that happens this whole thing could go shooting right out of here," McClain said, looking at the pipe. "Now I'm not a civil engineer, that's just my working man's opinion."

The residents cut-off from Shoup Road by the washout of Casey Lane can walk to nearby Glenridge Lane to get out, however the path is not wide enough for vehicles. Emergency repairs to Casey Lane will begin on Monday, but may be temporary until the risk of flooding can be mitigated.

El Paso County crews were also assessing a washout at Meridian and Stapleton as of late Sunday night.



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