Storm brings rain, leaks

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Jan Lomas, owner of Artisans Market of Steamboat Springs, always wondered why there was a yellow-brown stain on a small section of the store's ceiling.

On Monday, she found out.

Just as the workday was ending, a major storm blew into Steamboat and quickly dumped more than an inch of rain on the city.

Lomas, who has worked at Artisans Market for 13 years and owned it for three, saw water dripping through that stain.

"I said, 'Oh, that explains that stain,'" she said.

Water coursed down Lincoln Avenue in front of the downtown business, rose over the curb and almost came through the store's front doors. Luckily, there was no damage to the store except for a few damp pieces of merchandise that had been outside and a slightly wet carpet.

Lomas has lived in the area for 23 years and said Monday's storm was the biggest she re--members.

"I've never seen that much water come down that fast," Lomas said.

Heather Whiting, an employee at All That Jazz, said water came through the store's ceiling through vents but only got the carpet wet. About 10 people took shelter in the store, hanging out on the stairs while waiting for the rain to stop.

When Whiting went to her Jeep, she found a 4-inch puddle inside."I couldn't even get to my gas pedal -- it was all under water," she said.

She used a bucket to remove the water.

The carpets, jewelry cases and some of the merchandise at Indian Art of Steamboat got wet because vents in the ceiling leaked, manager Cheryl Brady said. She didn't think anything was damaged.

The storm was the worst she's experienced.

"You (could) just hear the wind out there," she said. "I don't like the thunder and the lightning -- that was booming pretty good."

Jeff Colton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said 1.1 inches of rain fell in Steamboat on Monday. That measurement accounts for rain during the entire day, not just during the afternoon storm. But Colton guessed that most of the rain came during a period of a few hours.

Big storms such as Monday's are not unusual for the area this time of year, he said. But a stretch of hot and dry days may have made the storm seem more noteworthy.

"Any time you get over an inch of rain, it's pretty spectacular," he said.

The storm formed over the Gulf of California, surged up the Southwestern United States last weekend and hit Colorado on Monday.

Colton said people could expect a drying trend in coming days, with a few thunderstorms possible in the mountains.

Chuck Vale, director of Routt County Emergency Services, said the storm caused a few minor mudslides but no emergencies.

"I think it let up just at the right time," Vale said.

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