La Junta Reeling From Significant Flooding

Credit: Chelsia

Blue skies re-emerged Tuesday but conditions actually worsened for one southeastern Colorado community.

La Junta residents said they couldn't believe how quickly water spilled over the Arkansas River Monday night into Tuesday.

"They were warning us yesterday about the flood warning so we've been really watching the area," one woman told 11 News, gesturing to the swollen river behind her, which locals say is usually not even visible from where she was standing. "There was only a little stream at first, and then last night it just gushed through."

According to a city official, a plug was placed on the storm sewer outlet to prevent water from backing up from the river. He says it failed at 6:30 a.m.

The water covered Highway 194, forcing its closure for several hours Tuesday. Images from the community show hay bales, vehicles and a camper submerged in water; several inches of standing water in yards; ponds where none should be.

North La Junta was hardest hit; the rest of the community remains dry. City officials say the water peaked around noon Tuesday, and began going down after that.