KUSA - A wait-and-see approach simply will not work for the Highway 24 corridor west of Colorado Springs, as far as the Colorado Department of Transportation is concerned.
On Thursday, CDOT announced it will patrol the corridor 24/7 until October 1, in an effort to give as much warning as possible in the event of another flash flood.
"Given what has recently happened, we are going to make sure motorists are safe," CDOT spokesperson Amy Ford said. "We've determined that we really do need to be cautious."
The patrols will augment a new policy that will lead CDOT to close US 24 between Manitou Springs and Cascade immediately upon word of a flash flood warning, issued by the National Weather Service, or one-quarter of an inch of rain falls over the Waldo Canyon burn scar.
"The minute it switches over into a flash flood warning we will be shutting down the road," Ford said.
Electronic message signs along the highway will also urge people not to travel when a flash flood advisory is in effect.
U.S. 24 averages 25,000 vehicles per day between west Manitou Springs and Cascade.
The changes that were announced Thursday come after a mudslide on U.S. 24 last week killed a man who was found buried in debris outside his vehicle.
Burned soils are less able to absorb heavy rains, leading to flooding and mudslides.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)