July rains not ‘monumental’
Several days later, many Pueblo West residents were sill feeling the impacts of a major storm system that moved through the area on Sunday, July 27.
The storm left a mess that crews have been working on diligently to get everything cleaned up and back to normal.
“Quite frankly, we had some areas with some pretty significant impacts because of the storm,” said Director of Public Works Dan Centa.
“We closed four or five roadways that evening, and there were another four or five areas with barricades set out.”
In fact, days after the storm, a few homeowners in Pueblo West were still stranded in getting in or out of their driveways because of major debris blocking the way.
Centa said road crews were working “full blast” to get roadways opened up and debris removed.
Drainage culverts were plugged with debris and tumbleweeds, diverting large amounts of rainwater across roads and more.
“We’ve got over 250 water crossings in Pueblo West where water overtops the roads, so we try and go through and clear out as much as we can,” Centa said.
The rainfall on July 27 was big, and although beneficial for the ground, it left quite a mess in its wake.
Recordings of rainfall that evening around Pueblo West included 1.29, 1.44 and 1.55 inches, all within a few hours.
According to folks at the National Weather Service, the average for the Pueblo area from June 1 until late July is 3.2 inches of rain, and this year there has been 3.6 inches recorded – a little more than average but nothing monumental.
Still, it’s obvious that a storm can create havoc quickly and sometimes unexpectedly.
Motorists are cautioned to turn around near water, as most flooding deaths occur with people in vehicles.
Stay away from water if you don’t know how deep it is, and also keep away from banks of water because they can crumble quickly during a storm.
Pueblo West residents also often deal with tumbleweeds, both during dry, dusty and windy times, as well as during storms.
They often gather up in rushing water and then clog culverts, ditches and more, creating additional problems.
“We have numerous areas with water across the road that had weed buildup, too,” said Brad Davidson, Pueblo West Fire Department public information officer.
“Some are on the north side of Pueblo West, but also some on the south side, as well.”
Davidson said this fall, once tumbleweed buildup areas are determined to be dry, the fire department will work with the Metropolitan District to mitigate, likely with some controlled burns.