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Pre-evacuation notices issued for flood-prone areas

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Friday, July 6, 2018 9:15 PM
After light rains in mid June, Hermosa Creek quickly filled with ash from the 416 Fire and raising concerns of flash floods. Pre-evacuation notices were issued for homes north of Durango around the 416 Fire area, where a flash-flood watch is in effect until 9 p.m. Friday.

About 250 homes were placed on pre-evacuation notice Friday afternoon for possible flooding around the 416 Fire burn area, but as of 8 p.m., no floods had been reported.

The notice was issued for homes near the Tripp Creek and Dyke Gulch drainages north of Durango. It included High Meadows Ranch, Falls Creek Ranch and Sanctuary subdivisions, as well as Durango Regency mobile home park, Hermosa Circle and Tripp Creek, said Megan Graham, spokeswoman for La Plata County.

Storm clouds developed Friday afternoon over the mountains north of Durango, but no significant rainfall resulted. Isolated thunderstorms producing heavy amounts of rainfall did occur west of the burn area in parts of Montezuma County.

About 250 homes were placed on pre-evacuation notice Friday afternoon for possible flooding around the 416 Fire burn area.
Courtesy of La Plata County government

The evacuation notice was issued because soil conditions in the burn area of the 416 Fire cannot hold moisture, which can trigger floods and debris flows. The pre-evacuation notices, issued about 3:45 p.m., were meant to prepare residents in the event they have to evacuate in a moment’s notice, Graham said.

Areas on alert were in zones that have historically experienced debris flows.

A flash-flood watch was issued by the National Weather Service until 9 p.m. Friday.

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