Heavy rains wreak havoc across state

Flash floods possible after showers crop up

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— Most of western Colorado was under a flash flood watch Monday as showers cropped up intermittently and dumped heavy rains on already saturated ground.

Steamboat Springs experienced dark clouds, some lightning and as little bit of thunder, but rainfall was scant.

Heavy rains fell west of Routt County, in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, the National Weather Service reported.

Though the flash flood watch was for all of western Colorado, there were no reports of heavy flooding late Monday.

A flash flood watch means conditions are such that a flash flood could occur. A flash flood warning which means flash flooding is imminent was posted for an area stretching from Glenwood Springs south along Colorado 82 to Redstone, where mudslides had been reported by 6 p.m., said Ellen Heffernan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

Heffernan said the office also received reports of mud on roadways south of Austin and in Telluride.

"What's going on is we have kind of an easterly wave that is kind of unusual and it's got some very deep tropical moisture," Heffernan said. "It's creating enough of a disturbance that we are seeing some heavy showers extending west into Moffat and Rio Blanco counties.

"They are not like super strong thunderstorms but they are very slow moving and they're producing heavy rains on what is already saturated ground."

Heffernan said the worst of the storms were along a line stretching from Aspen to Rifle to Meeker and into Northwest Colorado.

"Steamboat is in a down-slope area and because of that probably won't experience the heavy storms the way areas to the west will," Heffernan said.

The storms were expected to dissipate overnight Monday but build up again by this afternoon, Heffernan said.

Steamboat Springs' forecast for today calls for a high of 84 degrees with a chance of afternoon showers. Through the rest of the week, highs are expected to be in the upper 70s and lower 80s with a chance of afternoon showers every day.

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