Jul 2, 2013 10:12 PM by Jacqui Heinrich,

Manitou Springs Police Chief admits fault re: flood warning sirens

When warning sirens should have been sounding off, there was silence in Manitou Springs on Monday just before flood waters rushing off the Waldo Canyon burn scar deluged part of the town. The flash flood damaged twenty homes and destroyed three.

Many asked why those sirens never went off; Manitou Springs Police Chief Joe Ribeiro is admitting fault. "The siren is actually working so it leads me to believe that it was an operator malfunction and I was the operator yesterday," Chief Ribeiro said.

Luckily, that flood brought no deaths or injuries-- just a lot of damage -- otherwise Chief Ribeiro might be in hotter water. "I was standing here trying to launch the siren but I was also trying to watch the creek the waves were coming up significantly-- and the amount of worry and adrenaline at the time-- so I think what was happening was I was holding the button but I wasn't holding it long enough to actually launch the siren," Chief Ribeiro told News 5.

It begs some questions; should Chief Ribeiro be the man with his finger on the button in the future? Should that critical job be left to a single person? Those questions were posed to Ribeiro in an email, but he has yet to respond.

In the meantime, Chief Ribeiro is assuring the public that he knows what to do if there is a next time. "Now I know I've gotta hold that button for a little longer to make it work and account for the adrenaline," he said.



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