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Rising Animas River again causes some Berg Park trail closures

Trails remain open on south side of the park

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – Rising waters in the Animas River caused the city to again temporarily close all riverfront trails on the north side of Berg Park Sunday.

Bright orange barricades blocked the paths at all entrances to the northside trails, which are wet in some areas and show evidence in places of trees that fell due to saturated soil. Low-lying areas next to the trails are submerged, and water has crossed trails in some areas.

“The City of Farmington has temporarily closed trails on the north side of Animas River at Berg Park due to rising water levels,” city spokesperson Georgette Allen said June 30 in a press release sent just after 6 p.m. “Trails on the north side of the river from River Reach Terrace to the Animas Bridge (furthest bridge to the east) are closed. Trails on the south side of the river will remain open.”

The entrance of All Veterans Memorial Plaza leading to the Berg Park trails was blocked by a barrier Sunday evening after the city closed riverfront trails on the north side of Berg Park due to safety concerns about rising Animas River levels.

Allen said the closure is “a precaution in anticipation of rising water levels over the next several days. Barriers and signs informing the public of closure are being placed along the river trails. For their safety, individuals should not try to pass the barriers.”

The city blocked off the same trails in early June during a closure that lasted about 10 days. Among the safety issues cited during the last closure are falling trees and potential shock hazards from electrical infrastructure.

The Animas River is still flowing strong, but Farmington has reopened its trails

The San Juan County Office of Emergency Management on June 29 warned on its Facebook page that Animas River waters are fast and running high.

“Please be safe around or near the river,” the post stated. “The high temps are continuing to produce a high flow runoff situation.”

Contact John R. Moses at 505-564-4624, or via email at jmoses@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e

The birds don't mind, but no picnics will likely be held for a while at this rest spot on the north side of Berg Park as warm weather and spring runoff continue to feed a rising Animas River.