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Larimer County Prepares For Flooding In High Park Fire Burn Zone

Dave Steinke

Larimer County officials are preparing homeowners for potential flooding that could occur this spring.

Colorado Springs officials are already preparing homeowners near the Waldo Canyon burn area for spring flooding, and preparations are also underway to protect homeowners In Larimer County for potential flooding in the High Park Fire burn zone.

Suzanne Bassinger, Larimer County fire recovery manager, says sandbags will be made available for those at the greatest risk of flooding. “We have purchased an automatic sandbagging machine, and we’re probably going to take delivery on that in the next week or two.” Bassinger says the bags should be available in a few weeks and will be provided to residents for free.

Environmental damage caused by the High Park Fire has increased the risk of flooding in areas not usually prone to flash floods. “Where that soil is, it’s not reacting in the same way. There’s no cover, so the water is running off really fast,” Bassinger says. “And what was a normal rainfall is now producing peak flows that are 600 percent of what they were normally.”

Larimer County is using public outreach to teach homeowners about preparing their property for flooding, and has extensive information about recovery efforts online.

Since there is a 30 day waiting period before coverage begins for flood insurance, Bassinger says the county is also encouraging affected residents to purchase the additional protection as soon as possible before spring rains begin.

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