Local governmentNewsSouthern Colorado

Manitou Springs mayor declares disaster emergency status from hail storm

Author: Debbie Kelley, The Gazette - July 26, 2018 - Updated: August 9, 2018

Ron Allen, an employee with the Manitou Springs Penny Arcade, digs out of hail drifts at the arcade. A huge storm dropped hail and caused flash flood and tornado warnings for Manitou Springs on July 23. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

Manitou Springs Mayor Ken Jaray has declared a local disaster emergency in the wake of Monday’s hail, heavy rain and flooding, he said in a Facebook post Wednesday night.

The status will enable the city and local residents and businesses to be eligible for state and federal disaster relief funding.

Preliminary estimates of the cost of Monday’s hail and rain storm to the city are about $1.5 million, according to Jaray, with a yet undetermined amount of damage to local businesses and residents.

Jaray listed as having major damage: Serpentine Road, the Schryver Park parking lot, park and bridges, Soda Springs Park and Pawnee Avenue, along with storm water system repairs, street and bridge repairs, facility repairs, and sediment and debris removal throughout the city.

“For a small city, $1.5 million is a huge hit (about 15 percent of our 2018 General Fund budget),” Jaray wrote. “Based on the magnitude of the required repairs, I have determined the needed response to this event is beyond the normal capability of the city of Manitou Springs.”

The good news is that the storm “has not dampened the visitor experiences in Manitou Springs,” Jaray said. “I was delighted to see that many pitched in to help their neighbors. The city is as vibrant as ever, with great restaurants, shopping for all tastes, engaging activities for the entire family.”

Debbie Kelley, The Gazette

Debbie Kelley, The Gazette