Monsoons return to central #Colorado and Chaffee County — The Ark Valley Voice #monsoon2021 #ArkansasRiver

From The Ark Valley Voice (Jan Wondra):

Those caught in the July 1 rainstorm said it was like weeks of monsoon rains — that came all at once.

Thursday evening’s deluge gave the entire county some much-needed moisture — but it flooded Salida’s main streets several inches deep in places, as the storm sewers couldn’t keep up. Tourists and visitors in downtown Salida scrambled to find shelter from the continuing downpour that began there just before 7:00 p.m., as the slow-moving front hung over the Arkansas River Valley.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings throughout the area from late afternoon onward. As of 1:00 p.m. Friday, it again issued flood warnings across the Chaffee County area until at least 4:00 p.m. MST. They included the message that the storms have the potential for dangerous and life-threatening situations to develop…

The storm caused the infamous Chalk Creek Canyon “dip” to flow, closing CR 162 and routing residents and camping visitors to the canyon onto the gravelled back route south of Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, where the downpour had flooded parts of that county road as well…

Chaffee County quickly moved from immediate concerns over agricultural ditch water shortages and drought to flooding concerns, especially in the burn scar areas left by the Decker Fire and the Hayden Pass Fire.

While residents of Buena Vista reported much lower rain amounts, more than two inches fell in the Chalk Creek Canyon, with estimates of three to four inches in the southern half of the county…

Muddy torrents are shown above, coursing through the CR 111 flood diversion ditch in Salida. Earlier flows washed over the banks, as evidenced by the pooled waters on either side. Video courtesy of area resident Maureen Parsons.

In other parts of the south end of the county, localized flash floods occurred on the north side of Methodist Mountain. Most flood controls worked but there is damage reported between CR 110-111.

Flooding also appears to have happened up and downstream along the South Arkansas (unconfirmed at press time), which has had little water the past few days…

Residents of the Central Colorado Rockies know that what is called the “summer monsoon flow” is what we depend upon for summer moisture. The storm clouds that boil up over the Sawatch and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges in mid-afternoon often bring short-lived showers, clearing again in time for evening barbeques.

From OutThereColorado.com (Breanna Sneeringer):

Strong storms brought heavy rain to Colorado’s Front Range on Thursday, causing flash flooding in some areas with more rain likely on the way.

Many streets in Greeley experienced flash flooding on Thursday afternoon after torrential downpours dropped an estimated 3 to 4 inches of rain in about an hour over the city, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Boulder.

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