A fast-moving storm dumped a half-inch of rain in 20 minutes Thursday on the 416 Fire burn scar, but residents in the area north of Durango escaped serious damage from flooding.
Butch Knowlton, director of La Plata County’s Office of Emergency Management, said the storm hit Tripp Creek and Dyke Canyon, two areas heavily affected by the fire that burned in June.
Soil damaged by the fire can no longer absorb water, and that creates an increased risk of flash flooding and dangerous debris flows and mudslides.
Thursday’s storm brought a lot of water through residents’ yards, but there were no reports of property damage, and the flooding did not cause any road closures, Knowlton said.
A large amount of debris flowed into the Animas Consolidated Ditch, which parallels County Road 203, he said.
By 5 p.m., most of the water had passed through creeks and drainages and into the Animas River, he said.
Knowlton said the storm paled in comparison the storms on July 17 and July 24, which caused extensive property damage in the Animas Valley.
“People need to be aware of that fact that there’s going to be runoff whenever we get these types of storms,” he said. “And it could be considerably worse.”