Colorado Lawmakers Unite to Protect Pueblo Community

Letter Urges Corps of Engineers to Support Project to Prevent Flooding

Washington, DC –Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) and Representative Scott Tipton (R-CO) sent a letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers in support of a request submitted by the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District to address potential flooding concerns on the Fountain Creek in Pueblo.

The levee on Fountain Creek has become dangerously overgrown with dense vegetation, and there is a buildup of sediment in the channel. These factors contribute to flood risk, which is now exacerbated by increased runoff from the Waldo Canyon Fire.

“This is an important project for Pueblo residents who are at high risk of flooding,” Bennet said. “If we can take these precautionary steps we can reduce damage to homes and property and the larger costs of recovery.”

“The threats wildfire pose to communities persist long after the final embers are extinguished. Flash flooding can often be just as dangerous as the wildfire itself,” Udall said. “Runoff from the Waldo Canyon Fire has intensified flood risk around the Fountain Creek levee, which was already in poor condition. This project will revitalize the levee and keep Pueblo residents safe.”

“By taking proactive action we can reduce flood risks and protect homes and property in Pueblo’s east side neighborhood,” said Tipton.

The project, if granted, will repair the buffer zones along the levee and restore plants native to the region that structurally protect the levee, help prevent flood water from reaching property and serve as a filter to protect the health of the river.

Full text of the letter is below:

June 7, 2013

Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy

Assistant Secretary of Army (Civil Works)

Dear Ms. Darcy:

We write to ask for your consideration of the request submitted by Pueblo, Colorado for a Section 205 project on flood risk management for the Fountain Creek. The section of Fountain Creek along the low income East Side Neighborhood community currently suffers high flood risk due to dense vegetation along the levees. Sediment buildup inside the levees has also resulted in higher water levels which further increases flood risk. The proposed Section 205 project will address the situation by reestablishing riparian buffer zones inside and outside the levees, creating wetland filtration basins, and revegetating the levees using native vegetation for habitat restoration.

We encourage you to give the Pueblo, Colorado Fountain Creek proposal every appropriate consideration consistent with all applicable laws and regulations. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

*This release was sent jointly with the offices of Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall.