Runoff news: People with structures and operations in the Cache la Poudre floodplain need to start preparing for possible snowmelt flooding

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From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Bobby Magill):

The snow keeps on falling in the mountains of Larimer County, and the snow is not forecast to begin melting significantly for at least a week. “When it does start melting, the probability is really high that it’s going to melt really fast,” Fassnacht said, adding that the Poudre River is likely to peak at a level as high or higher than ever seen before.

The Poudre’s historic peak flow through Fort Collins for the last 35 years occurred April 30, 1999, when the river was measured at 10.46 feet with a streamflow of 7,710 cubic feet per second, or cfs, according to U.S. Geological Survey data. The 2010 runoff came close when the Poudre crested at 9.27 feet and 4,570 cfs…

Flood stage at the mouth of Poudre Canyon is 7.5 feet or about 5,000 cfs. Through Fort Collins, flood stage is 12 feet or 10,500 cfs. Streamflows greater than 9,000 cfs have occurred only five times in Fort Collins’ history, according to city data. The greatest streamflow ever recorded on the Poudre came in 1904, when a rainstorm caused the river to surge to about 25,000 cfs, killing one person. Fassnacht said this year’s runoff could bring a streamflow double the size of last year’s highest-in-a-decade flows on the Poudre.

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