LA VETA – New mapping offers sobering evidence of flash flood danger below the Spring Fire wildfire burn area. “We really think that we’re going to have some out of the bank flows on an annual basis,” said La Veta Mayor, Doug Brgoch. The mapping looks at multiple rain scenarios–yearly storms, rain totals that happen every few years, and worst case scenario rain fall.
The mayor said a “frank” conversation is needed for all possibilities. He held a community meeting this week to share the maps and discuss the potential threats. “Based on the calculations, if and when that rain occurs, the town of La Veta will have about one hour to evacuate.”
Nearly 70 percent of the forested area above the town was scorched by the wildfire. A lot more water will now run-off instead of absorbing into the soil. It means 10 to 15 times more water heading toward town.
There is a high potential for people and homes to be in the path of fast-moving flood water. Town leaders are starting with a warning and they will expand the town’s emergency plans over the winter.
They are telling locals to also prepare with their own evacuation plan. Flood danger drops around mid-November when mountain temperatures drop, then weather warms back up around mid-April the danger returns.