Southwest Colorado digs out from historic avalanche activity

Data pix.

SILVERTON — Not only did Southwest Colorado experience healthy snowpack levels this season, but it also dealt with unprecedented avalanche activity.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, about 230 slides plummeted into the area since November 1, 2018.

"Some things ran this year that hadn’t run in 50 years and some things didn’t run this year that normally run every year. So it’s crazy!” said Joe Jepsen, who lives just north of Silverton.

Jensen lives near Middleton; a community currently blanketed in avalanche debris.

"You’ll see all the debris and all the trees that are down — it’s incredible!” said Sharon Meadows, who also lives in the area.

Endless fields are currently covered in snow and snapped trees.

"Large trees, you know 12-16 inches in diameter and they’re just snapped into toothpick sized pieces,” Jepsen pointed out.

All in all, San Juan County officials estimate crews have about 120 miles of roadway to clear out. In some areas, the snow is more than 100 feet deep.

This is the third biggest snow year on record in Southwest Colorado since 1986, according to experts.

We’re told some access roads might not be cleared until July.

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