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Commissioners Approve Disaster Declaration for Flooding Damage

Phantom Canyon Road is pictured during the early stages of flash flooding on May 19th. 10.7 inches of rain have fallen in the Canon City area since April 1st.

As Fremont County transportation officials continue to assess damages to county roads from all of the recent flooding, the Fremont County Board of Commissioners joined several other southern Colorado counties in making a disaster declaration in order to seek federal and state emergency assistance.   The resolution approved Tuesday morning during the Board of Commissioners regular meeting notes that the cost and magnitude of recovering from the widespread flooding which has caused severe damage to numerous county roads and other public and private property is far in excess of the county’s available resources.

The resolution also notes that since April 1st total rainfall in Cañon City has measured 10.7 inches, which would be a record for that combined two month period.   Cañon City’s normal average precipitation during April and May is 2.9 inches.

Fremont County Commission Chairman Ed Norden said county road and bridge crews are still assessing all of the damage.   Norden said County Transportation Director Tony Adamic came up with a preliminary cost estimate of $600,000 damage just for the road repairs needed in Phantom Canyon.  It’s expected that Phantom Canyon will be closed several weeks into the summer.

Adamic traveled down Phantom Canyon Wednesday from Teller County to assess the damage and later traveled by ATV from the south end to assess the damage.   Traffic was reopened along the High Park county road to Cripple Creek last week but shoulders along the road will need stabilization work in the coming days.  The Shelf Road to Cripple Creek was also reopened Wednesday morning.   Adamic said crews will also have considerable work to do along County Road 132 in the Upper Beaver Creek area where water continues to wash across the road in several places.

This is one of the most significant road blockages crews will have to deal with in the coming weeks in Phantom Canyon north of Florence.