Record Rainfall Wreaking Havoc On Roads

IMG_1009Despite a record year for spring moisture, the main highway link between Teller County and Colorado Springs is holding its own.
That’s the good news. U.S. Hwy. 24 hasn’t been closed yet due to rain storms or flash floods. And the $50 million-plus in improvement work done along the main thoroughfare in the Ute Pass and in the Waldo Canyon burn scar over the past year is apparently working.
Weather statistics now indicate that the month of May, 2015 has seen more rain in the Pikes Peak region than any May in 80 years. And the last time the region even came close to receiving this level of moisture a major flood happened.
Hwy. 24 hasn’t been closed due to rain yet this year, but traffic was halted after a barrage of hail hit the region several weeks ago.
The bad news is that the recent storms has created havoc in the western part of El Paso County, with millions reported in damage to roads and trails. A federal disaster declaration has been requested, with Governor John Hickenlooper touring the area last week.
The streak of storms led to several big road closures in Teller County last week, with Teller 11 and Shelf Road shutdown due to excessive water damage. Teller County Road 11 has now been reopened, according to the county website. But no date has been set for reopening Shelf Road in the southern part of Teller.
The total costs of the storm damage and associated work for Teller County still hasn’t been determined. To make matters worse, Teller encountered its second major tornado warning within a several week period.
The bad weather trend will continue this week, with expectations of regular thunderstorms and continual rain at lower elevations and snow higher up.