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Flooding Closes Highway, Damages Waterways Near La Junta

LA JUNTA, Colo. (CBS4) - Floodwaters that damaged fire-ravaged hillsides south of Pueblo three days ago have impacted highways and waterways this weekend.

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( credit - Otero County Sheriff's Office)

CBS4 reported Thursday from Beulah, where more than six inches of rain fell in three days and tore through roads and creekside property.

By Friday, water levels had ballooned downstream.

The Arkansas River reached 1.5 feet above flood stage Saturday and left standing water over a stretch of Highway 194. The highway, which connects La Junta and Las Animas, was still closed Sunday despite a small drop in the river's volume.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's estimates suggest the water levels will remain steady for several days, and may actually rise again Monday with the recent release of water from Pueblo Reservoir.

Additional photos released by the Otero County Sheriff's Office show a washed out dike on the west side of La Junta.

Later tweets from sheriff indicated both breaches were fixed by Saturday evening.

In a Sunday morning Facebook post, the Otero County Sheriff's Office wrote, "Patches on the dike are holding great, and barring any severe weather in the immediate future, the La Junta area should be getting back to normal in a couple of weeks."

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