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Residents start clean-up after flash flooding over Cameron Peak burn scar

"There's a lot of anxiety. Just a couple raindrops, you start worrying," said Michael Markovich.

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — Storms and flash flooding over the Cameron Peak Fire burn scar caused some serious damage in the Glen Haven, Crystal Mountain and Buckhorn areas of Larimer County.

Two people were killed, a woman and a girl who were in a camp trailer that was swept away in the Buckhorn area, according to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.

The Larimer County Office of Emergency Management said damage assessment teams determined that one home was destroyed, one outbuilding was moderately damaged, and five homes suffered minor damages. Debris operators will start cleaning up the area on Monday.

Residents in Glen Haven nearby to the Retreat neighborhood started clean-up on Saturday, after flash floods ripped through the area on Friday.

"All of a sudden I heard this rumble, kind of a rumble-roar and the water started to come down the stream and literally it was a wall of water at about 45-degree angle, about 15 feet deep," said Retreat resident David Ries.

He said they're cleaning up debris now so culverts and bridges don't get dammed up and make matters worse if there's another flood.

>Video below provided by Cary Farnham:

"There's a lot of anxiety," said Michael Markovich, resident. "Just a couple raindrops, you start worrying."

Up and down the area of Streamside Drive, there are washed out driveways, destroyed bridges, and a lot of debris.

Markovich said they weren't in the evacuation zone this time. But, they've had to leave for flooding before.

Since the fire in 2020, Markovich said they've had several flash floods. He said this one has been the worst so far.

RELATED: Flash flood in Cameron Peak burn scar area kills 2

"Our neighbors got pretty close to getting washed out. The water came up to their steps, in their garage," he said. “We came back up to stay for a while and see if there’s anything we can do to help our neighbors. They need it more so than us."

Markovich said their pond has filled with debris three times now from flash flooding, costing thousands of dollars to dig out each time. This time, they're just going to leave it be. 

“It’s too costly. We have no assistance from the state or any agencies. I’m retired and I just don’t want to spend all our money constantly digging it up and coming back up here and seeing it’s filled up with silt again," he said. “I guess just grin and bear it and hopefully they get vegetation growing and the burn scar quits flooding.”

The Larimer County Office of Emergency Management was assessing the damage Saturday, so they can begin clean-up as soon as possible.

“Road and Bridges is already out there rebuilding County Road 44H and looking at some roads,” said Lori Hodges, director of emergency management for Larimer County.

Hodges said a lot of work is being done to help mitigate damage from flash flooding near the burn scar, but only so much can be done.

“There’s the aerial mulching that’s being done. There’s the structure protection that’s being done through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program and then also there’s been a lot of work at the county level of upgrading culverts, rebuilding roads or armoring those roads so they can take and withstand more rain events,” she said. "In a burn scar that's this size, even if we did everything, rain events are still going to have some impacts for the next few years.”

She said if you live nearby or will be visiting the area around the Cameron Peak burn scar, make sure you have a way to get emergency notifications to warn you about potential flash flooding.

Sign up for Larimer County emergency notifications here

RELATED: Cloudy, with scattered storms Saturday evening

RELATED: Aerial mulching aims to restore land burned by Cameron Peak Fire

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