Flash floods impact mountain communities


Slow-moving thunderstorms with heavy rain pounded the mountains southwest of Pueblo on Monday afternoon and evening, leaving drivers stranded as water, mud and debris flowed down mountainsides and out of recently burned areas.

Several roads in the Wet Mountains outside of Wetmore were closed late Monday so crews could clear area roads. County Road 165 at Smith Creek was particularly hard hit.

In the Wet Mountain Valley, a tornadic thunderstorm also produced heavy rain that closed several roads for a brief time to the north of Westcliffe.

The biggest problems occurred to the west of Walsenburg as flash floods flowed out of the Spring burn scar. Just after 6 p.m., Abeyta Creek was running nearly two feet out of its banks on La Veta Pass. Indian Creek and Middle Creek were also running high, and several roads were washed out to the west of La Veta.

The flash flood risk is well known to residents downstream of the Spring, Junkins and Hayden Pass burn scars. Each time creeks flood and debris blocks the flow channels, work is being done to clear out the rubble so that water can flow as efficiently as possible the next time heavy rains come.

H & H Services crew members use heavy equipment to clear the river channel in La Veta, Colorado in July.

>> Get the latest FOX21 Storm Team forecast.

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