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As snowpack disappears, Colorado’s avalanche scars become visible

Data pix.

COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. -- Road crews continue working on highways damaged by avalanches during the winter.

While all the roads are open now, large debris piles are still visible. One of the largest is next to Highway 91 near Copper.

Cyclist Tom Cummins of Durango got a close-up look.

“You could see where the avalanches were but the trails were clear. They were nice -- somebody’s done some work on them," said Cummins. "You’ll see the debris. It’s so interesting 'cause all the trees are laid in a row almost like toothpicks where the avalanche path was."

The Colorado Department of Transportation said much of the debris flows on mountainsides will be left as they are.

"If they are not going to cause a hazard or if they are not going to cause further destruction down the road with flooding, they kind of get left to nature," highway maintenance supervisor Chuck Decker said.

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