Runoff news: The upper Colorado River could be running at 9,000 cfs by the second week in June, McPhee Reservoir to spill this weekend

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From the Sky-Hi Daily News (Reid Armstrong):

But this is only the start of what is setting up to be a historic season on the river — unlike anything seen since the 1980s. The betting types are beginning to cast their wagers on when and at what level the river will peak this year. Some are saying that, with the right combination of dam releases and warm weather, the flow past the Kremmling gauge could double yet again in the next few weeks, possibly even breaking the 13,600 cfs record set in 1984. Even conservative betters are estimating that the Upper Colorado will be running at around 9,000 cfs by the second week in June.

Meanwhile, Larimer County is gearing up for flooding at Laporte according to Monte Whaley writing for The Denver Post. From the article:

Fears of flash flooding of the Cache La Poudre River near Laporte has prompted the Larimer County sheriff to call for a public meeting to map out a strategy. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the Cache La Poudre Elementary School, 3511 West County Road 54G, in Laporte.

Sheriff Justin Smith said a similar meeting may be held in the Big Thompson River area. On July 31, 1976, the Big Thompson flash flooded, killing 139 people.

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From the Cortez Journal (Reid Wright):

After being postponed for fish spawning and dreary weather, Dolores Water Conservancy District Manager Mike Preston said the water release will begin gradually below the McPhee Reservoir and should reach 1,000 cubic feet per second by Friday afternoon…

After this weekend, the water district plans to reduce the flow to a navigable 800 cfs. Depending on water supply, the 800 cfs could last until June 6 or beyond, Preston said. Recent high-altitude snowstorms provided enough water for a release for recreational boating on the Lower Dolores River…

“Last year, because of all the monsoon rains, people weren’t irrigating as heavily,” Preston has said. “We ended up about 25,000 acre-feet in the reservoir higher than the previous year, and that’s what we’re going to spill. Water managers are always trying to hold on to as much carry-over storage as possible.”

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