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I am writing this letter in regards to last week’s article about the so-called flash flood in Arboles. My mother is 78 years old; she has a lot of health problems. I live with her to take care of her and my brother who passed away this past February . She and I are still having a hard time with his passing .
My grandmother and my brother passed away in this house and I promised my mother when it’s time, she will too. She has lived in this house on Andrews Lane for the past twenty years and has owned this property for the past forty years.
Which brings me to my point: this ditch runs through my mother’s property and in years past, has never overran its banks. Until Archuleta County took over the maintenance of this road.
In the past, it was just a dirt road that our neighbors would enter at their own risk. Then a neighbor asked my father back when he was alive if he could put in a steel pipe. My father said yes and even contributed money toward putting this pipe in.
The pipe that was put in was six foot in diameter and would handle just about anything that would run down. About five years ago, the county decided to change this pipe that did its job, to 48-inch culverts, two side by side, about two feet apart. Now, I’m no engineer, but when a 50- to 60-inch boulder comes down the ditch and hits these 48-inch culverts, I’m pretty sure they’re not going to fit.
On July 10, that is exactly what happened and the ditch overran its bank and flooded the road that the county was so concerned about.
We had what I wish I could say was the pleasure of meeting with our road and bridge supervisor. I asked him what we are to do if it rained again. He told me it would run down through the culverts. These are the same culverts that did not work the first time. I asked if he could do something to prevent this if it rained again. He said no, it was too muddy (one word: excavator).
Needless to say, it rained and flooded my mom’s house and the road and our hero came and saved the road by pushing the mud and water towards my mom’s house. And then tells me, and I quote, “Oh yeah, you are welcome for us coming out on a Sunday to clear your road.” FYI: it is not my road; it is access for our neighbors that runs through our property.
I would like the people of Archuleta County to know that we love our community. But, when it comes to your concerns, it’s been my experience that road and bridge does not have a sympathetic ear. We in Arboles also pay taxes and deserve better.