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Colorado town cleans up from flooding and mudslides

Friday's flash floods may become the norm for central Colorado residents.
Friday's flash floods may become the norm for central Colorado residents.

In Manitou Springs, Colorado, residents are wondering if flash flooding will be the norm following the fires at Waldo Canyon and Black Forest. Last Friday's rain storm ran through Waldo Canyon, but because of the burned soil it could not absorb as much water, according to the Huffington Post. It may take up to 10 years for these areas to fully recover from the blazes and their aftermath.

The 1.3 inches of rain caused flooding and mudslides that destroyed homes, cars and buildings in the community. After this storm, officials in town are working on establishing a continuity of operations plan to prevent occasions like this from happening again.

"With the amount of rain that we received Friday, nothing that we could have done could have prevented the kind of flooding we had," police spokesman Dave Hunting told the news source. "Just Mother Nature doing her thing."

The fast-flowing waters swept many people off their feet, including 49-year-old Laura Hunter who saw her home engulfed by the flood. Hunter attempted to get out of her house and toward higher ground but, she got washed away. Her life was saved by a tree that came across her path.

This natural disaster may have caused structural damage and closed roads, but it only took the life of 53-year-old John Collins, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Where to go from here

Even though flash flood warnings continued into Monday, many people came to Manitou Springs with buckets to remove the debris from businesses and affected homes. One man, worked until dusk to remove "three feet of mud [that had] filled a parking garage at the intersection of Park and Canon avenues," the Gazette wrote.

The local Red Cross provided kits with buckets and mop heads to help clean up the mess, and is also providing shelter for displaced residents.

Getting in touch with business continuity consultants can help cities and towns build a long-term plan to streamline evacuations and emergency operations.