‘It smells nasty, like a campfire,’: Glen Haven residents deal with Cameron Peak burn scar flood

Local News

GLEN HAVEN, Colo. (KDVR) — Flash flooding tore through Larimer County Sunday afternoon closing several miles of road from Drake to Estes Park along Country Road 42. At least six homes in “The Retreat” in Glen Haven were asked to evacuate. 

Officials said it was a storm cell that dumped massive amounts of rain in a very short amount of time.

The flood was the first significant rain event Glen Haven has seen since the Cameron Peak Fire left a devastating burn scar around hundreds of homes.

“It smells like the fire did during the burn,” said Polly Bennett, who received a reverse 911 call Sunday from the Larimer Country Sheriff’s Office, warning about the flooding below her home. “I’ve been living with this scent, and it smells nasty, like a campfire.”

Soot and ash filled the rising rivers in the area, turning them black with sediment. 

“People don’t think about this aspect of fire recovery, they think when the fire goes out it’s over but it isn’t,” said Bennett. “That’s the beginning of fire recovery.”

Heavy rains caused a rush of water through The Retreat, spilling over culverts and riverbanks. Residents were asked to travel to higher ground, but many spent hours clearing up the muddy mess the flooding left behind on roadways.

“We are going to be dealing with this for awhile. I just hope it keeps flowing and doesn’t fill in the channel,” said Bennett.

No homes were seriously damaged. Black Creek remained the road impassable for several hours. The Larimer County Road and Bridge will assess the road for additional needed repairs.

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