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Sep 20, 2013 12:47 AM by Tony Spehar - tspehar@koaa.com

Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station crews working to protect neighborhood from flooding

Flood mitigation work is beginning on Cheyenne Mountain after last week's heavy rainfall caused rockslides and sent debris down the slopes that damaged areas around Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station and neighborhoods below.

Operations at CMAFS returned to normal on Thursday since debris that blocked one of the entrances had been removed and repair work neared completion.

 

On Paisley Drive in the Broadmoor Bluffs neighborhood, just below NORAD Road, the damage was still extensive inside and outside of some homes. Myra, who didn't want her last name shared, suffered damage to her basement and had much of her yard wiped out. She told her story to News 5 on Wednesday night and begged the Air Force for information about what they were doing to try and prevent damage during future flooding. She was relieved to find crews working on the drainage near her house on Thursday.

"It felt very lonely and scary when it felt like that was not a priority," she explained. "It is very good to see that things are getting started there and I hope that does not get waylaid in any way."

On Thursday tractors from CMAFS dug out and widened the drainage leading from the station to Myra's neighborhood. Air Force officials said helping their neighbors downslope is one of their top priorities.

"I live in this area as well, I live in the Broadmoor area along with my squadron commanders," explained Col. Travis Harsha, Installation Commander at CMAFS.

Col. Harsha said the work to clear debris and mitigate began immediately after the first round of storms though the first goal was to get the important Air Force station back to normal operations.

"To start re-channeling the water that was coming down the mountain, it didn't help obviously that we had additional rains on Sunday and Monday," he described. "We were able to get that water re-routed and back into the drains where they should be."

Now that things are back to normal on station personnel are beginning to work with city crews to try and prevent damage to the Broadmoor Bluffs neighborhood.

"We are having different specialists and engineers and seeing what things that we can do," Col. Harsha explained.

Myra was thankful that the problem was being addressed and hopeful that a permanent solution could be found.

"We may look differently at clouds for some time," she said. "My family and myself will be kind of nervous for a while."

Col. Harsha said any residents below Cheyenne Mountain with concerns about flooding before, during or after events can contact Air Force Public Affairs at 719-556-5185.

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