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Heavy morning rain presents flood concerns for La Plata County

Some areas received a half-inch of moisture
The Durango-La Plata County Airport received about 0.4 inches of rain in a three-hour span Thursday morning. (Durango Herald file)

Parts of La Plata County received a half-inch of rain Thursday morning, raising concerns of flash flooding in some areas, but ultimately no major issues were reported.

La Plata County Emergency Management prepared all week for potential floods as the wet weather system moved toward Southwest Colorado.

Emergency Management Director Shawna Legarza said the road and bridge department is evaluating areas around the county that are prone to flooding.

“The ditches and roads are pretty full,” she said Thursday morning. “We haven’t seen anything overflow yet.”

Legarza said prevalent flooding areas include Cherry Creek Road (County Road 105) and County Road 323 near Ignacio. She said sometimes there can be flooding closer to Durango, and in preparation, the county is offering sandbags at the La Plata County Fairgrounds and Bayfield Town Hall. Sandbags are used as a barrier to divert floodwaters.

Legarza said flooding can be caused by a lack of maintenance to ditches and culverts.

“If the ditches and culverts don’t stay maintained and cleaned, they’ll get backed up and then you'll see flooding,” she said.

The National Weather Service forecast shows a potential for more heavy rain Thursday afternoon, but the system should clear up by Friday.

tbrown@durangoherald.com

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