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Overnight flooding from heavy rain leaves mess behind on some Pueblo roads Monday

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- By dawn Monday, floodwaters had receded from a section of Interstate 25 and streets west of the freeway but a muddy mess remained as drivers headed to work.

Most of the flooding from Sunday night's downpour affected an area between the Ilex Street exit and Minnequa Avenue -- south of downtown -- to include Abriendo and Northern avenues.

Authorities briefly closed the southbound lanes of I-25 between the Abriendo and Northern exits because of flooding but reopened them just before midnight.

Several vehicles were parked in the left median on southbound I-25 at the Northern exit, possibly by drivers who wisely chose not to drive through the high water.

Mud, rocks and other debris were particularly apparent on the southbound I-25 entrance ramp from Abriendo and the southbound exit ramp from I-25 to Northern.

Just west of the entrance ramp, a manhole cover had partially been knocked askew by high water, threatening passing vehicles; KRDO 13 put it back in its proper place to eliminate the threat.

The flash flooding may have been worsened by clogged storm drains along that stretch of I-25, and by gutters carrying stormwater runoff from neighborhoods to the west.

"Our southern side of town is where most of the calls for assistance (were) received from, said Andrew Hayes, the city's public works director. "So, we're out responding to those, making sure storm drains are unclogged, make sure everything's back to normal for the next event that happens."

Sunday's flooding aftermath also affected some areas that are being repaved by Pueblo and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

"Being a low spot in the interstate right there, it was just kind of a perfect storm of events to cause the closure," said CDOT spokeswoman Amber Shipley.

More rain was in the forecast for Monday, which could produce more flooding.

The high water wasn't just in the city, either; many fields were flooded on 29th Lane, approximately five miles east of Pueblo along US 50.

Water also was several inches deep in Eileen Keyser's basement -- continuing a trend that she said has worsened in the past 15 years.

"I've lived here for 55 years," she said, watching the water from the bottom step of her basement stairs. "Last year, it got up to almost 2 feet to 3 feet. The rain last night isn't the cause. It's the ground water level. The rain just makes it worse."

Keyser said that she's had enough of it, and plans to sell her home soon.

The flooded road, however, wasn't a problem for two men in a pickup truck who easily splashed to relatively more stable ground at the end of the road.

A delivery driver, however, had to turn around -- using Keyser's yard to back up.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.


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