Flooding in Colorado leads to evacuation of Kansas boy scouts

About 100 Boy Scouts are working on merit badges in town after being evacuated from their southern Colorado camp because of flooding.

KRDO reports campers climbed on top of this SUV when the creek overflowed.

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WALSENBURG, Colo. (AP) — Nearly 100 Boy Scouts and staff from southwest Kansas and the Wichita area are safe after being evacuated from a Colorado camp due to flooding.

The scouts left the Spanish Peaks Scout Ranch near Walsenburg, Colorado in the southern part of the state around 4 o'clock Tuesday morning.

They were forced to leave in school busses and sheriff's vehicles after rain caused Bear Creek to rise. The scouts were camping in tents above bear creek. Although at one point some of the scouts scampered on top of a an suv to escape the water. "They had used the picnic table to get on top of the roof", said Sargent Craig Lessar with the Huerfano County Sheriff's Office. "And by the time they got on the roof the picnic table had floated away."

The scouts were taken to a Red Cross shelter until waters recede.
Camp leader Shelly Salley said, "I found that my female staff .. they were down in the cabin and there was water coming into the cabin. The creek was fifty feet wider than what it normally should have been."

However, Kolin Anglin, a scout leader from a Wichita troop said the scouts were not in immediate danger. "The creek that runs through there had a flash flood", Anglin said. "Got kind of heavy and affected more of the staff area than anything. All the campers are absolutely fine. We were safe where we were."

The same troop was forced to evacuate last year by a wildfire, which has made the land more prone to flooding because of soil erosion.
Emergency management officials sent out an alert early Tuesday and troop leaders wanted make sure the campers were safe.

"Not sure what the forecast was going to be", said Anglin. "And we didn't want anybody else at risk until we knew what the forecast was going to be."

The five scouts from Wichita ages 11 to 13 are all doing fine. there were also scouts from Liberal, Meade and from other states.

Two buildings at the camp were damaged and some roads were closed. But if the waters recede the scouts will return to camp.

The scouts went out Sunday and the trip was supposed to end this Saturday. Anglin said scout leaders will get together and decide if they will stick to that schedule.


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