Heavy rain above the southern end of the 416 Fire burn scar Friday did not materialize into serious flooding, in part, because meadows and fields in the Falls Creek Ranch subdivision helped absorb large flows.
“The big surge of water evened out,” said Butch Knowlton, the county’s director of emergency management.
The reported flows were larger than they were last year, he said. But the natural terrain helped weaken their force and prevented flooding near County Road 203, on the west side of the Animas Valley, he said.
Friday’s storm started shortly after noon and lasted about 45 minutes, with most of the activity between Tripp Creek and Dyke Canyon, Knowlton said.
A debris flow blocked the main road in the Falls Creek subdivision for about 45 minutes, but otherwise the storm did not cause any other major damage, he said.
The rain fell in just the right area for the Falls Creek Ranch terrace to help prevent flooding, he said.
Other areas of the Animas Valley, including the area below the Missionary Ridge burn scar, do not have the same advantage, he said.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning during the afternoon storm, calling for possible mudslides on U.S. Highway 550. But those did not materialize.
“It’s really hard to predict just exactly the quantity of water that is going to come out of the clouds,” Knowlton said.