Runoff news: 3,080 cfs in the Arkansas River near Buena Vista

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From the Associated Press (John Jaques) via The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Flows [in the Arkansas River] near Buena Vista and at Parkdale reached 3,000 cubic feet per second on Monday, the highest levels this year, and minor flooding is expected in sparsely populated parts of Lake County and could affect some roads over the next few days. Canon City will reach the action stage, but is not expected to see any flooding, according to projections by the National Weather Service.

High-water advisories have been issued for Pine Creek and the Numbers near Buena Vista in the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation area, meaning only the most experienced kayakers should attempt running those rapids. As of Monday, there was no high-water advisory for the Royal Gorge, although the level of water is steadily rising toward that point…

Authorities also said the Eagle River west of the Continental Divide is forecast to cause some nuisance flooding onto its flood plain. Stacey Stegman, a Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said one lane of westbound Interstate 70 has been closed due to flooding on the Colorado River near Fruita. Officials also expect to close the eastbound lane…

The weekend’s high temperatures had officials issuing flood warnings in Moffat and Routt counties, but Fredin said the flood plains might be able to avoid flash floods because of cooler weather forecast for the rest of the week.

From (Jeremy Alm):

On Friday, CDOT closed one lane heading westbound. Tonight they say they’ll be closing one lane eastbound. If the water continues to rise another foot, they’ll be forced to shut down a section of the interstate for crews to watch for debris. “If the water rises and we should get larger debris, rocks, logs and things like that… crews from both sides will be able to pull any larger debris that we feel could be causing damage to the girders,” says Nancy Shanks with CDOT.

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Mike Wiggins):

The Colorado River near Cameo in De Beque Canyon is under a flood warning until Friday afternoon, as a spate of hot weather pushes snowmelt into an already swollen river. The forecast calls for rising water today possibly reaching moderate flood stage by Tuesday evening, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. A flood warning means flooding is imminent or occurring. Officials say the river at Cameo was at 12.2 feet Sunday evening, which is a few inches above flood stage. At 14.5 feet, major flooding is occurring, according to the Weather Service.

From (Erin Fry):

The National Weather Service says low lying areas in north central Colorado — including Larimer and Weld counties — will see rising water levels early this week. In the High County, the Arkansas River around Leadville is expected to see high stream flows. The weather service said Monday that the Arkansas will be around the minor flood stage for several days.


Through the month of June and early July the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park is expected to peak between 83,000 and 115,000 CFS, a staggering flow rate compared to the river’s average peak flow of 52,000 CFS. This potentially record-breaking year is the result of a snowpack in the Rockies that currently exceeds 200% of average. The previous record on the Colorado was set in 1984 when the flow in Cataract Canyon peaked at 114,000 CFS. This year, the late approach of warm summer temperatures is expected to open the flood gates as the snow melt commences.

From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (Janet Urquhart):

A weekend spate of hot weather that extended into Monday boosted flows on the Roaring Fork. Aspen’s signature Slaughterhouse section was running at 1,380 cubic feet per second at about 3 a.m. Monday, according to Jim Ingram, owner of Aspen Whitewater Rafting. High flows typically come in the middle of the night, as the prior day’s high-country melt hits the gauge. The stretch, which Ingram said only reached levels high enough to navigate on a raft about a week ago, was giving some paddlers a run for their money Monday. Several went for a swim in the aptly named Entrance Exam, a rapid just below Aspen’s Stein Park put-in…

Local lore has it that the river peaks at Slaughterhouse when the snow disappears from Bell Mountain on Aspen Mountain, as viewed from town. Bell, the center peak that carries the gondola to the summit, was covered in snow Monday from its highest reaches down to the spot where it disappears from view, from the vantage point of Main Street.

From The Denver Post (Joey Bunch):

Flooding appears imminent in parts of Routt, Moffat and Lake counties, forecasters said. “Significant rises and flooding” were reported today along the Elk river near Routt County Road 42, the confluence of the Elk and Yampa rivers near Milner, including flooding near U.S. Highway 40…

The flood warning for the Elk River is in effect until Friday. Other areas that could flood include the Yampa River near Craig, Deerlodge Park, Oak Creek, Maybell and Elkhead Creek near Hayden, and other areas close to the Yampa River, forecasters said. The Arkansas River near Leadville is under a flooding warning until further notice, as the Lake County waterway met its 7-foot flood stage this afternoon…

Numerous areas under the advisory could flood. In Larimer County minor flooding is expected along the Laramie, Cache La Poudre and Big Thompson rivers. Estes Park is under the threat of flooding by early Tuesday as the snowmelt engorges the Big Thompson, the National Weather Service said.

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