• Bandelier Sunset

    Bandelier

    National Monument New Mexico

High Water Events 2012

flooded parking lot 2011-2012

Photos by Kay Beeley

After a fire, hillsides are denuded of vegetation (think of how each leaf catches and temporarily holds drops of water) and scorched soils are covered by a more impervious surface, leaving little to slow down the water from downpours from collecting and filling watersheds. As a result, flash floods often follow landscape altering fires such as the Las Conchas fire that burned much of Bandelier in 2011. On August 21, 2011 (just 2 months after the fire) all of Bandelier's canyons were hit by flash flood events. In 2012, the expectation was that additional large flood events would occur. However, the summer rains were less than expected and resulted only in more than a dozen high-water events (when the creek rises within its banks but doesn't spill out in the area near the park visitor center). Detailed information on some of those events is found below.

August 15, 2012
August 16, 2012
August 19, 2012
September 10, 2012
September 12, 2012
September 28, 2012
October 12, 2012

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