Colorado’s 300 days a year of sunshine may be in jeopardy
DENVER — Colorado vacation promoters like to boast that the state has an average 300 days of sunshine a year, but that may be in jeopardy.
Rainy weather across Colorado is setting weather records and causing minor flooding. In Durango, bicycle race organizers have hired a meteorologist for Memorial Day weekend.
Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doeskin said the attention-grabbing weather doesn’t feel like Colorado, but it happens every few years.
The good news is that the rains have been drawn out over the past few weeks and they haven’t caused the major flood damage that devastated the state in 2013, or the granddaddy of all floods that happened 50 years ago this year.
The 1965 flooding ravaged Denver, Adams and Douglas counties, knocking out transportation and utilities, flooding homes and businesses.
David Barjenbruch with the National Weather Service said people are starting to notice the rain this year.
“It’s been pretty bleak if you like the normal Colorado sun we’re all used to,” Barjenbruch said.
In Durango, for the first time in Iron Horse Bicycle Classic history, race organizers have hired a meteorologist to help them best prepare for all Memorial Day weekend activities.
On the Western Slope, Yampa Valley Regional Airport Director Kevin Booth said an unusually wet May in Hayden has slowed a runway paving project at the airport.
In Southeastern Colorado, rain caused significant damage to property and trails too close to raging waters over the past two weeks.
Colorado Springs had already racked up more than $8 million in storm damages by Monday, according to city officials. Mayor Steve Bach signed a local disaster declaration Monday to try to recoup repair funds from the federal government. El Paso County officials declared a disaster last week, estimating $2.4 million in damages.
El Paso County Public Health officials warned Tuesday that continued rain and surface water runoff can contaminate well water, particularly pits and wells without watertight casing.
In Northeast Colorado, flood warnings and flood watches have been issued near the Poudre and the South Platte rivers, which are expected to last through Friday.
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