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Rain fuels heavy weed, grass growth in southern Colorado

Drier weather gives mowers chance to catch up

Wet summer brings mixed reviews in southern Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - With drier weather in the local forecast, many people in southern Colorado are thankful for an opportunity to catch up on cutting and mowing weeds and grasses.

The constant rain this summer has often made conditions too wet to mow.

During a similar rainy period in the summer of 2015, work crews in Colorado Springs and El Paso County fell weeks behind in mowing parks and other public areas and that appears to be the case again this season, although to a lesser degree.

"To counteract that, we've been bringing crews in on weekends to help catch up," said Troy Wiitala, the county's highway manager.  "But we've been getting rain on weekends, too.  We've also had some of our mowers break down because they're 1980s-model equipment.  We're getting three new trucks next year."

City crews are not working on weekends to catch up.

Some homeowners say they're glad that watering isn't needed as much but they're mowing twice as often, or taking longer to mow larger lawns because of constant rain.

"I have nearly three acres and it can take me a full day to mow them," said Tom Jackson of Black Forest.

Even landscaping companies are affected. 

"It's absurd," said Alexandria Alejandre of GVR Landscape.  "It's crazy.  We're definitely busier this summer." 

Code enforcement officers tend to be busier during wet weather, enforcing weed ordinances on homes and private property.

But many people say the rain lowers the fire danger and keeps vegetation green, although that vegetation could produce more potential wildfire fuel when drier weather returns.

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