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Durango area set for wet, rainy week

By Robert Galin Herald staff writer

A strong spring storm will bring measurable amounts of rain and snow to the Durango area through the week, according to the National Weather Service.

Jeff Colton, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Grand Junction office, said the precipitation expected to start Sunday night may accumulate to as much as a quarter to a half-inch of rain, with some places possibly getting as much as an inch over three or four days.

In addition, heavy, wet snows of up to a foot during that same period may hit the mountains above 10,000 feet, with some snow levels falling to about 8,500 feet at times, he said.

The storm is the result of a deep, upper-level low-pressure system off the California coast, he said. It is picking up a lot of moisture there.

Because the system is slow-moving, it has the chance to drop more moisture along the way, Colton said.

With rivers rising, sustained rainfall over a large area could bring flow to high levels, he said.

Colton also said this system alone will not alleviate the drought, though, he said, “We’ll take this one as a good step.”

Butch Knowlton, director of the La Plata County Office of Emergency Management, said crews stayed with a controlled burn south of Durango that went out of control Saturday afternoon, but no new resources were requested Sunday.

Knowlton said lines already had been built around most of the 20 acre fire, located near county roads 215 and 216, Saturday evening, and crews from several agencies had remained on scene overnight, but he had no new information about the fire Sunday evening.

Herald Staff Writer Patrick Armijo contributed to this report. rgalin@durangoherald.com

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