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Storm washes out roads, floods creek near Spring Fire burn scar

Posted at 12:00 AM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 02:00:05-04

It’s already been a long summer for the La Veta area, but monsoonal rains continue to make life difficult in southern Colorado.Just over three weeks after the Spring Fire devastated the area, flash flooding wreaked havoc on the same neighborhoods impacted by the flames. The rains washed out roads, while mud and debris covered people’s backyards following Monday’s storm.Khristine Hammond was doing routine property work when the storm hit."We were up there actually doing our job, fire mitigation, we were cutting down trees, and then all of a sudden it just started pouring and hailing," Hammond, who works with DMW Property Management, said.The storm hit so strong and quick, she thought they might have to stay at the property and wait for someone to fix the roads."It was crazy. It sounded like a jet airplane going through up through the woods, so I mean it’s interesting for sure," Hammond said.Nearly four weeks ago, the area’s trees looked healthy. It’s roads were still in tact, but the devastation of the Spring Fire continues long after the flames ripped through the area.Many of the residents, including Jason Valdez, will have to worry about rain and flash flooding for several years. Valdez said it’s an eyesore, seeing the mud coming down the creeks."Kinda disgusting. It looks like some of the oil slicks I’ve seen before," Valdez said. "With all the ash coming down in the streams, it’s gross."Monday’s storm caused a surge of mud, debris and rain to roar down Middle Creek, which was a dry creek bed just minutes before, and the remnants made it all the way to La Veta.The town was saved from the Spring Fire, but now has a different natural disaster to tend to following it."It was just something incredible that I’d never want to live through again," Valdez said, recalling the Spring Fire. "And we had everybody praying for rain, and I guess we had a few too many people praying for rain."