Jul 13, 2014 10:09 PM by Maddie Garrett
Strong storms sent rain and hail rushing into a Briargate man's basement Saturday. Sunday, he invited News 5 into his home to get an up close look at the damage. There was a water line a few feet up on the walls, and eight inches of hail still covering his basement floor.
The hail and water got in through the window well at the back of Bruce Carlson's house.
"First we just thought it was just water and then we realized it's hail as well," said Carlson.
Carlson said there's a natural drainage behind his house, and he's built a drainage ditch that has always been effective at guiding the water away from his home. But with more than four inches falling at his home, judging by his rain gage, Carlson said it was just too much, and overflowed into this yard and basement.
When he realized what was happening on Saturday, he said he and some neighbors tried to divert the water by setting up a make-shift barricade. It didn't work.
"Yeah we just lost the battle," said Carlson. "We've been here for 20 years since the house was built and it's never rained this much before."
Clean up won't be easy, as the basement is cool enough and there's so much hail, the ice isn't melting.
"It's a mess," he said. "You can't pump hail out, so they're going to be putting it in buckets and putting it out the back window there and dumping it."
At least Carlson won't have to go at it alone.
"Got a bunch of friends coming over from work to help so we'll do the best we can," he said.
Not far from there in Briargate, another deluge of water went down the Mirage Drainage Channel on Saturday.
"It was rushing really fast, it roared actually," said Bob Kelly and his wife.
But this time, the newly rebuilt Mirage Channel did what it was supposed to, diverting flood waters away from the nearby homes.
"It's made all the difference and it's probably maintained our property values a lot," said Kelly.
Saturday's rain storm was the first big test for the Mirage Channel. The City of Colorado Springs recently completely rebuilt the drainage channel after it failed two years ago, flooding some homes. There's also now a retention pond about 1,500 feet down the channel that Kelly said also help up well in the rain storm.
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