BOCC discusses flooding, new sheriff reports

Sullivan started a conversation about the rising waters in the Rio Grande and the potential for flooding in the area,


DEL NORTE— Rio Grande County Commissioners opened their first of the month meeting on Wednesday, May 15 with a report from Road and Bridge Supervisor Patrick Sullivan. Sullivan gave a brief update on projects taking place throughout the county, roads that were being worked on and the new asphalt tank.
“We have been fixing potholes for the past three weeks as weather will allow, doing base work on the 11 South and just trying to get ready for summer. The weather has not been easy to work with this year,” stated Sullivan.
After his overview of county projects, Sullivan started a conversation about the rising waters in the Rio Grande and the potential for flooding in the area, down to Monte Vista. “We recently were inspected by SHE, a structural engineering company that specializes in bridge inspections. I am happy to report that we were given a favorable rating, but I want to keep an eye on the bridges while runoff is at its peak,” said Sullivan.
He continued, explaining that the river was currently running at about 5,300 CFI which was moderate compared to what it could be running at this time. Sullivan stated that if the river were to reach a possible 8,300 CFI, it could mean catastrophic flooding events for some areas between Del Norte and Monte Vista.
“I don’t know what the City of Monte Vista is planning but I know that we will be watching things very closely for the next several weeks and if there are any significant changes in the water levels, we will need to notify them and let them know what is coming,” finished Sullivan.
Commissioners then welcomed Sheriff Deputy Ed Raps who was filling in for Rio Grande County Sheriff Don McDonald. Raps handed out reports to the board, explaining that the department is starting to do something new to help track trends in criminal activity that would help determine when activity in the county is at an all-time high, what hours of the day or night are most active and areas where crime seems to be concentrated.
Raps went through the reports and graphs, highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of the collected data, stating that as the reports are used more often and the data is collected throughout the entire year, the results will be extremely useful for the department. “We will be able to get guys out on the roads in the areas they need to be at the times they need to be there. There will be a method to how we operate, and it is something that needed to be done for a long time,” said Raps.
He finished the report by pointing out the change in the amount of calls the department is receiving compared to what they were receiving at the beginning of the year. “As you can see the call volume has gone up drastically since the beginning of the year when we started to get out and get to know the people in our community. They are starting to trust us and call us for help. That is what why we do what we do,” said Raps.

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