WALSENBURG – Residents here will hear the blaring of a newly-installed flash flood warning siren at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 13. Local emergency officials made the announcement Wednesday night at a public meeting on flash flood preparedness in advance of the near-certainty of flash flooding from the nearby Spring Fire burn scar during the upcoming thunderstorm season.
The siren will only be tested once, Mayor Dennis Hoyt said, so that residents don’t become accustomed to false-alarm tests and recognize the urgency of the siren if and when it blares. Dozens of Walsenburg residents attended the meeting at the historic Fox Theater downtown.
Residents also learned how they can participate in a sandbag filling and collecting event Saturday, April 6, at the John Mall High School football field. Organizers anticipate filling and distributing 10,000 sandbags. The same day, volunteers with the veteran-based organization Team Rubicon will scour Cucharas Creek to clear it of debris and snags in order to provide a smooth channel for floodwaters.
A 100-year flood event is likely within the next six years, according to Huerfano County Administrator John Galusha, potentially damaging or destroying as many as 670 homes and dozens of businesses within Walsenburg city limits.