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Retaining Walls Help Keep Mudslides, Debris From Damaging Manitou Springs

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One of the mitigation projects underway in the Waldo Canyon burn area. (credit: CBS)

One of the mitigation projects underway in the Waldo Canyon burn area. (credit: CBS)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- More than two dozen projects to slow the tide of flooding, mudslides and debris slides from the Waldo Canyon burn area into Manitou Springs have been completed. But there is more work to be done.

A total of 28 large projects have been completed off Highway 24. Thirteen other large-scale mitigation projects are underway.

The projects consist of slopes and rock, culverts and logs that are designed to slow and grab all the runoff and debris before it rushes on to Highway 24 and into the town of Manitou Springs.

On Friday it was just one inch of rain that fell in 15 minutes that caused the first round of damage in the tourist town west of Colorado Springs.

“A total of 140,000 tons of debris was actually retained by some of these structures that were put in place far above the town of Manitou,” said El Paso County spokesman Dave Rose.

So far local, state and federal agencies have invested $30 million in mitigation efforts for the Waldo Canyon burn area.

It’s estimated the problems from that fire that burned more than 18,000 acres and 346 homes in June 2012 could last up to 10 years.

Because the terrain where the fire burned is rugged and steep much of the mitigation work must be completed by hand instead of with machinery.

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