DEFEnS DEbris and Flood Early warNing System

Science Center Objects

The Waldo Canyon wildfire burned more than 18,000 acres within a perimeter of more than 19,000 acres. In response to the July and August 2013 floods in the Waldo Canyon watershed and in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the U.S. Geological Survey developed a warning system for Waldo Canyon associated with a wildfire burn scar, which are at risk to debris and flood flows. The network consists of Doppler (velocity) radars and a telemetry network consisting of cellular and Iridium satellite transmits. The data was used to assist CDOT staff in implementing a reliable, debris or flash-flood forecasting system for the US highway-24 structure at the mouth of Waldo Canyon after the onset of a precipitation event that is capable of triggering debris flows and flash floods.