- Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2015

DENVER (AP) - Rising river levels fed by heavy rains forced the evacuation of a campground, and weather forecasters issued a winter-storm warning Saturday for the northern and central Colorado mountains, even though it’s springtime in the Rockies.

Morgan County Sheriff Jim Crone urged motorists to avoid driving on county roads on Saturday, saying a number of roads in the northeastern Colorado county are washed out and others are covered with water. Travel on some rural roads could be life-threatening, he said.

The Colorado Department of Transportation called for plows to clear hail and mud off U.S. 24 in Ute Pass in southern Colorado, and the Colorado State Patrol asked motorists to stay out of the way.

Several tornado warnings were issued, but most were on the eastern Plains and there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District issued the mandatory evacuation of all park guests at the St. Vrain Campground around 11:30 p.m. Friday, Weld County spokeswoman Jennifer Finch said.



A number of road closures were ordered because of flooding. Arapahoe County Road and Bridge crews closed County Road 42 at Kingsburrow Bridge in eastern Arapahoe County because water was overtopping the road. Colorado Highway 194 was closed near La Junta.

Prolonged rains on already saturated ground are expected to bring the Cache La Poudre and South Platte rivers to near bank-full from above Greeley to the Nebraska border, according to the National Weather Service.

Fountain Creek is washing away stables north of Pueblo, residents said.

Cathy Todd, a manager at Belmont Stables, said it’s tough to watch. “It just keeps chipping away at our land,” Todd said.

In Colorado Springs, authorities were watching the Waldo Canyon burn scar area, which has produced major floods in the past and sent water gushing down highways toward the city.

The National Weather Service also reported a few landslides along the Saint Vrain in Boulder County and minor flooding in several businesses In Lyons.

The Carbon Valley Emergency Operations Center was activated to assist with evacuations and monitoring road closures.

Forecasters issued a winter-storm warning for the northern and central Colorado mountains. There could be up to 16 inches of snow by Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

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