Aspen high water spawns seasonal industry |

Aspen high water spawns seasonal industry

Charles Agar
Aspen Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Paul Conrad/The Aspen TimesLuis Reyes places sandbags on a flower bed along the Roaring Fork River on Wednesday at a home on Queen Street in Aspen.

ASPEN, Colorado ” Sandbags could become big business with the anticipated runoff from local rivers in coming months.

Bad Randel, owner of Specialized Services of Aspen, hopes to capitalize on the issues facing many Aspen homeowners. Randel, along with his general manager Brad Knotts, is filling sandbags and fortifying Aspen-area homes against possible flooding in coming months.

The charge is $6 per 40-pound bag placed on site.

Randel ran an ad in local papers and said he is receiving more and more calls from homeowners as the water levels rise.

“I think it’s going to get nutty,” Randel said, adding that rivers are already dangerously high and there is still a lot of snow at high altitudes.

And just the right formula of a few warm, wet days could mean big trouble for folks living along local rivers and streams, Randel said.

“If that happens, roll up your pant legs,” Randel said.

Knotts said he’s done a handful of sandbagging jobs in Aspen, and has received calls from as far away as Redstone.

He loads pallets of filled bags to deliver to smaller jobs, or employs a dump truck to unload sand to larger job sites where laborers fill bags one at a time.

“This is the first year that we’ve had this kind of water in quite a while,” Knotts said, and many local homeowners just don’t know what to expect.

Water often rises in the middle of the night and it’s best to prepare, Knotts said.

At some sites Knotts is building one-foot high walls he can add to later if needed.

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