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Flooding from rain and snowmelt hits Norwood; Dolores gets ready

Norwood is experiencing flooding from rapid snowmelt and rain. (Courtesy San Miguel County Sheriff)
No flooding in Dolores yet, but free sandbags will be available soon

The town of Norwood is experiencing widespread flooding from recent storms and rapid snowmelt at higher elevations.

San Miguel County Emergency Management has deployed resources, including sandbags, to assist with residential flooding, according to a San Miguel Sheriff Facebook post.

Additional precipitation is expected in Norwood through midweek.

Norwood officials recommended that homeowners build dirt berms and shovel trenches to mitigate flooding.

“Do not drive through pools of water, as it is not only dangerous, but it creates waves of water into homes,” the Sheriff’s Office post said.

Flooding is hitting residents of Norwood. (Courtesy San Miguel Sheriff's Office)

The Norwood Fire Department provides assistance with residential flooding, and public work crews are working to prevent flooding.

Residents who experience flooding should contact dispatchers at (970) 728-1911.

Dolores prepares for flooding

Dolores, south of Norwood, has not yet experienced flooding, said Town Manager Ken Charles, but preparations are underway.

The town is working with public works, Montezuma County Road Department and county Sheriff Steven Nowlin to provide free sandbags for residents. They will be available soon at no charge, Charles said. The location will be announced on the Dolores website and Facebook pages.

Meetings are scheduled to coordinate preparedness efforts, Charles said.

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Drainage grates on Dolores streets are handling runoff and heavy rain, and efforts are ongoing by public works to clear the street drains of snow.

A similar above-average snowpack year in 2019 led to flooding up the valley and at the Dolores High School gym. Officials believe the potential for flooding at the gym was mitigated when a new culvert was installed under Road V. 5 to channel the water away.

The higher groundwater table also contributed to the gym flooding that year.

Other areas prone to flooding in Dolores are North 18th Street, the Dolores Public Library next to the Dolores River, behind the preschool on Hillside Drive, and the Far West end of Joe Rowell Park.

Snowpack in the Dolores River Basin is above the 30-year average. As of Monday, Snotels that measure snowpack in the basin were at a combined 158% of average for snow-water equivalent.

Possible flooding in the Dolores River valley and the town Dolores are contingent on runoff factors, including prolonged warm temperatures, continued rain and snow, high winds and the accelerated evaporative impacts of dust on snow.

More rain is forecast for Dolores Wednesday, and snow is expected Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.