Highway Hit Hardest By Flood In Hayman Area

Flooding and mudslides have damaged several homes in Douglas County, mainly in the Hayman Burn Area, and destroyed at least a 4.5 mile stretch of state Highway 67.

Douglas County crews have been working around the clock to repair county roads that were washed away by the flooding that occurred Friday night and over the weekend.

The destruction from the floodwaters washed out Highway 67 and several smaller roads. The highway has been wiped out in at least a dozen places and the river is still running over the road in one spot, 7NEWS reported. An 8-mile stretch of the highway has been closed between Deckers and Westcreek indefinitely.

Rain and mud had little to stop its path since the Hayman Fire in 2002 burned the trees and vegetation in the area. The fire made the area ripe for erosion.

"The water just came over that road. It looked like a small Niagra Falls," said one witness.

Many people have been affected by the road closures, which have meant long delays and detours. The roads aren't expected to be open for weeks.

"It took about three hours to get to the Trail Creek side because it's all washed out in places too," said driver Janie Derby. "So it's just really tough."

Officials from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, the Colorado Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration flew over the disaster area Monday afternoon to assess damage and to secure federal funding. CDOT offiicals said a conservative estimate of the time it could take to reopen the roads is at least six to eight weeks and perhaps longer.

Douglas County Emergency managers said they are trying to come up with a plan for the families who live along Highway 67 in the closed off areas. They are trying to create some type of local access so residents can get in and out of their homes.

"The road crews were fantastic. They came here and put that road back together and who would have thought they could do that?" said homeowner Tammy Legrisse. "I was amazed."

CDOT doesn't know yet how much it will cost to repair the entire highway but say the average cost to rebuild a two-lane highway such as this ranges from $1 million to $4 million per mile, and that's why they need federal help.

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