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Flood Risk Maps Released For Waldo Canyon Scar

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Updated maps showing flash flood risks from the Waldo Canyon wildfire scar have been released in Colorado Springs.

The interactive maps include addresses, flash flood risk areas and the potential impact of differing rainfall amounts. They’re available to the public on the El Paso County and Colorado Springs websites.

The Gazette reported Thursday the data are based on studies conducted by The Matrix Design Group after the Waldo Canyon Fire was contained in July 2012.

The potential for flooding has worried officials since the Waldo Canyon Fire burned 347 homes and killed two people. Soil and vegetation that normally would absorb rainfall there has been burned away.

Authorities have said the fire was human-caused but have released no other findings.

The maps provide data on rainfall amounts from 0.5 inch to 2.0 inches per hours over the burn scar. Some sectors can receive water 4 feet deep or more during a flash flood, the study said. Other zones range from 2 to 4 feet of water to less than 2 feet.

Final maps for North and South Douglas creeks and the Mountain Shadows subdivision are expected in August.

On July 1, more than a half inch of rain fell in less than 20 minutes, causing mud to flow into 20 houses in Manitou Springs and western Colorado Springs. At least three homes were total losses, and at least 11 vehicles were damaged. The downpour closed U.S. 24 for several hours.

On July 10, a thunderstorm sent rocks, mud, debris and running water rushing down part of a canyon in Manitou Springs, leaving some vehicles covered or stuck in mud. The rockslide closed a four-mile stretch of U.S. 24.

In June, the U.S. Agriculture Department said it was sending nearly $20 million to repair watersheds and mitigate flood potential in both the Waldo Canyon and High Park Fire burn areas. Work includes mulching, re-seeding and shoring up water channels.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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