You are here

Heavy Rain in Park County Floods Badger Creek in Fremont

This was the windshield view for a Fremont County Sheriff's deputy when he encountered flash flooding across County Road 2 (Tallahassee Road) northwest of Canon City Tuesday afternoon. The water quickly receded and road crews had the road reopened at 10 a.m. Wednesday

Heavy rains in Park County Tuesday afternoon created flash flooding across southern Park County and into Fremont County with flood waters pouring over the tops of a pair of small conservation dams on two ranches in Park County.  The flash flooding washed out a section of Fremont County Road 2 known as Tallahassee Road at the juncture with Badger Creek.

An assessment report on the status of the dams following the flash flood emphasized that neither of the dams failed.   In a report to Fremont County Emergency Management Director Steve Morrisey, Dam Safety Engineer John Hunyadi of the Colorado Division of Water Resources said neither dam was breached in the flash flood.   He said there was a misunderstanding about the status of the flooding when it was first reported in Park County.  Hunyaki’s report said one of the ranchers reported a heavy rainstorm at 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon and that by 3:30 the flood waters were running about four feet over the top of his dam.

Hunyaki said in the case of the Upper Dam in Park County the property owner was working to clear out a culvert pipe to allow backed up water to drain.   In the case of the lower dam an overflow pipe was cleaned out to also improve drainage.   Hunyaki said there was some minor damage to the lower dam but that it does not pose any safety concerns.   The engineer’s report said that at capacity the two conservation dams would retain about 9 ½ acre feet of water.

Fremont County Department of Transportation crews responded quickly to the washout the next morning and had CR2 reopened by 10 a.m. Wednesday.   Fremont County Commission Chairman Ed Norden praised the quick response Tuesday afternoon by Morrisey’s Emergency Management Office, Sheriff’s deputies, and County Transportation Director Tony Adamic.  Norden noted that as the flash flood waters poured down Badger Creek and into the Arkansas River, by late Wednesday night the Cañon City river gauge on the Arkansas River showed a spike in flow to 1,750 cubic feet per second which was about a 1,000 c.f.s. increase over river flows earlier Tuesday afternoon.