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Severe rains send mud, debris across Mount Charleston roads, camps

Crews across Mount Charleston spend Tuesday, July 25, 2017, cleaning up after heavy rains and flooding send dirt, mud and debris into roads and picnic areas. (Travis Marshall/KSNV)

Crews across Mount Charleston spent Tuesday cleaning up after heavy rains and flooding sent dirt, mud and debris into roads and picnic areas.

The mountain received 2 inches of rain on Monday and more on Tuesday.

In Lee Canyon, heavy machinery ruled the day as crews cleared out drainage ditches and shoved dirt off the highway.

Jim Jordan, camping in the area with his family, said the clean-up noise and messy surroundings were bearable.

“A little rain doesn't hurt anything. It doesn't spoil anything, either,” he said.

Ray Johnson of the U.S. Forest Service says while thunderstorms are common this time of year, Monday's downpour was the first big one of the season on the mountain, leaving the Lower Lee Meadows covered in rocks and debris.

“We are still expecting some weather that could potentially make this happen again the rest of the week,” Johnson said.

For now, the Old Mill Picnic Area remains closed. The road in expected to be cleared in the next few days.

RELATED LINK | Flash flooding on Lee Canyon, Deer Creek roads threatening bridge to Whispering Pines

While no injuries were reported from the flash flood, the Forest Service wants to keep it that way. Earlier this month, 10 people were killed in Arizona when flooding swept through a popular swimming hole in Tonto National Forest.

Johnson says conditions here are similar. A threat of fire also remains.

“We had a tremendous amount of lightning with that thunderstorm, so we may have fire as things dry out, things that are smoldering,” he said.

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