From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
Fountain Creek is littered with logs, uprooted cottonwoods and debris from high flows in September. All aimed at Pueblo and the Lower Arkansas Valley. In fact, many are in Pueblo right now.
The Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District Friday came to the realization that debris from the September downpour has not been removed from the creek, raising the possibility of increased damage if flooding occurs this year.
Unlike 2013, this summer could be wet. The Climate Prediction Center is calling for more moisture in Colorado; that could mean rain over large areas near Colorado Springs and the Black Forest that burned last year.
“Trees are staged everywhere,” said John Chavez, stormwater coordinator for El Paso County.
Removing the trees is expensive and there isn’t much money to do it. El Paso County is eligible for federal flood relief money, while Pueblo County is not.
Richard Skorman, a member of the Fountain Creek board, said people may not realize the danger that still exists.
“There was so much effort right after the fire,” he said.
Pueblo Councilwoman Eva Montoya, who chairs the Fountain Creek board, acknowledged there still are large trees in the Fountain Creek channel through Pueblo that could clog things during a big downpour.
Larry Small, the executive director of the district, said he observed many downed trees as well as erosion along Fountain Creek in northern Pueblo County.
Last month, he directed the Colorado Department of Transportation to remove trees it had stacked just downstream of the bridge at Fountain. The state has been slowly removing the trees.
“I think it’s important for people to realize the communities are working together, because this affects everybody,” she said.
More Fountain Creek coverage here.