Tuesday morning rains keep Mitchell Creek residents, emergency crews on alert | PostIndependent.com

Tuesday morning rains keep Mitchell Creek residents, emergency crews on alert

Steady rain on Tuesday morning kept Mitchell Creek residents and Garfield County emergency crews on guard in case the storm worsened.

A flash flood warning was issued by the National Weather Service for east central Garfield County during the morning hours, followed by a flood watch for the entire county that lasted from 11:35 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Garfield County public information officer Ron VanMeter said he and five others from the sheriff’s office, including Sheriff Tom Dalessandri, gathered at the Glenwood Springs Mall Tuesday morning in case an evacuation became necessary.

“It was real steady rain in South Canyon,” VanMeter said.

Officials have two main concerns at this point, VanMeter said. One is the development of a strong storm like the one that caused flooding and debris flows on Aug. 5. The other is that two to three days of soaking rains could have a similar effect.

The rain started falling around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, finally stopping around 10 a.m. The heaviest rains occurred between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

In all, 0.42 inches of rain fell at the Remote Automated Weather Station near the Mitchell Creek Fish Hatchery.

Although the rain stopped, the flood watch remained because of concerns about afternoon thunderstorm precipitation rolling off already-saturated soil and possibly causing floods and mudslides.

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