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Rain brings flash-flood watch to La Plata County

Precipitation comes from former hurricane off Mexico coast
Rain coats and umbrellas came out Wednesday as remnants of Hurricane Nora pass through Durango and La Plata County. La Plata County is in a flash-flood watch until 12:01 a.m. Thursday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

A flash-flood watch is in effect for La Plata County through Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Skies have been gray with rain in the county as moisture streams across Colorado from former Hurricane Nora. The hurricane formed off the Pacific coast of Mexico on Saturday.

Remnants of Hurricane Nora passing through Durango and La Plata County make for slick roads Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The rains in the county could cause debris flows on less stable terrain, such as burn scars, according to the flash-flood watch.

“It’s generating a lot of light to moderate precipitation in the area today (Wednesday),” said Erin Walter, Weather Service meteorologist, of the storm.

Rain coats and umbrellas came out Wednesday as remnants of Hurricane Nora pass through Durango and La Plata County. La Plata County is in a flash-flood watch until 12:01 a.m. Thursday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

There is a chance for thunderstorms to develop late this evening and carry on to midnight tonight. It was not clear Wednesday afternoon where those storm cells could occur or how long they could sustain their strength overnight, Walter said.

The flash-flood watch expires at midnight Wednesday. A watch is the potential for a flash flood to occur, but it is not imminent. A warning indicates a flash flood will occur or is occurring.

Heavier rain can easily create debris flows on steep terrain susceptible to runoff and burn scars, Walter said.

“That’s the main threat,” she said. “Conditions can change rapidly, so just be aware of the environment you’re in and maybe alter your plans (if necessary).”

Remnants of Hurricane Nora passing through La Plata County on Wednesday partially cover Hermosa Cliffs. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The flash-flood watch includes the 416 Fire, Pine Gulch, Grizzly Creek and Lake Christine burn scars in Western Colorado.

Isolated to scattered thunderstorms could appear over Western Colorado on Thursday, Walter said.

smullane@durangoherald.com

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