Runoff news: High water advisories issued for the Pine Creek and the Numbers rapids near Buena Vista, 46,700 cfs in the Colorado River at the state line

A picture named realtimestreamflowusgscolorado06082011

Here’s the link to the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s online applications Flood DSS. Here’s the link to the USGS’ Water Watch website where you can get a graphical view of all their gages across the state. Here’s the link to the Colorado Division of Water Resources Surface Water page where you can track your favorite gages.

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

In the Upper Arkansas River, flows were 3,600 cubic feet per second and climbing Tuesday, making some sections of the river treacherous for boating. High-water advisories were issued for Pine Creek and the Numbers rapids near Buena Vista and through the Royal Gorge. “We don’t close the river, but strongly recommend boating on other sections of the river during the high-water advisory,” said Rob White, manager of the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area. “The river keeps going up. I don’t think we’ve seen the peak of it yet.”[…]

No flooding of populated areas in the Arkansas River basin is in the forecast, according to estimates Tuesday by the National Weather Service. Minor encroachment of water into low-lying areas is seen from Lake County to Canon City over the next few days.

Conditions are great for bringing water in from the Colorado River, as Fry-Ark storage in Turquoise and Twin Lakes was drawn down in anticipation of heavy flows. So far, about 16,000 acre-feet of Fry-Ark water has been brought through the Boustead Tunnel, which continues to run at full bore. To put that in context, the entire Fry-Ark Project collection over the past six weeks amounts to about six hours of the flows going past Glenwood Springs in the Colorado River on Tuesday. Reclamation estimates more than 94,000 acre-feet of water will be brought over this year, and flows through the Boustead Tunnel could continue into early August. Reservoir managers are hard-pressed to keep up with the native flows. Reclamation is releasing almost 1,200 cfs from Turquoise into the Lake Fork of the Arkansas River to reflect native flows…

The Pueblo Board of Water Works also drew down its Clear Creek Reservoir in northern Chaffee County in anticipation of a heavy runoff. It will not be able to release the water quickly enough through its headgates and water will come over the dam when the reservoir fills.

From The Denver Post (Analisa Romano):

Officials closed access to two Colorado rivers Tuesday, citing high water flow dangerous to swimmers and riverbank visitors. The Cache la Poudre River near Fort Collins and the Yampa River near Hayden will reopen when water flow drops to a level more typical of this time of year, said Jon Haukaas, a water engineer for Fort Collins…

Near Milner, the Elk River hit a record flow Monday, Lewis said, reaching a level not recorded there since 1904…

Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Mindy Crane said the Glenwood Canyon bike path along the Colorado River and a vehicle bridge on U.S. 6 near Dotsero and the right lane of Interstate 70 headed westbound will remain closed until water levels subside. Amtrack is suspending its service between Chicago and Denver from Thursday through Tuesday in anticipation of flooding in Omaha. Boulder officials are expecting Barker Reservoir to overflow the dam as soon as this afternoon, causing Boulder Creek to rise.

From KJCT8.com:

The Colorado Water Conservation board said Tuesday that people in Moffat, Routt, Jackson, Eagle and Mesa counties should all be wary of rivers reaching bank-full or cresting their banks as the warm temperatures create runoff. Flood warnings were put in place for the Elk and Yampa Rivers and along their tributaries.

From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (John Stroud):

Elsewhere around Garfield County, CDOT temporarily closed the Bair Ranch rest area in Glenwood Canyon. The Rifle rest area near the main Rifle interchange on Interstate 70 was also closed due to flood waters. Crews were busy there Tuesday building a clay-soil berm to help protect nearby homes against the rising water, CDOT spokesperson Nancy Shanks said. Other flood-related closures in the county included County Road 311 (the Rifle-Rulison Road), Rifle Mountain Park, and Silt’s island park along the Colorado River south of town…

The Colorado River through the canyon, as of Tuesday afternoon, was running more than 4,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) above its average springtime peak, according to CDOT estimates based on readings taken at the Shoshone Power Plant, just west of Hanging Lake Tunnel along Interstate 70. By Tuesday afternoon, the Colorado River was running at 18,100 cfs through Glenwood Canyon. The average springtime peak in that section is around 14,000 cfs, according to CDOT data…

Elsewhere along the Colorado River, below Glenwood Springs, the flow at 4 p.m. Tuesday was 24,900 cfs, according to the U.S. Geological Survey real-time water data website. That level surpassed the previous maximum flow for June 7 of 22,400 cfs established in 1997. At the Colorado-Utah state line, the river was running at 44,700 cfs [ed. 46,700 cfs this morning]. The Roaring Fork River at Glenwood Springs was also on the rise, topping 8,100 cfs early in the day Tuesday, before dropping to about 6,500 cfs later in the day, according to the USGS data.

From the Loveland Reporter Herald (Madeline Novey):

Though a National Weather Service flood advisory for several Colorado rivers and high flow waters prompted officials to close access Tuesday to the Cache la Poudre, those in Loveland said the Big Thompson River is not experiencing levels that would warrant the same concern or restrict public access…

As of Tuesday afternoon, [Lt. Pat Mialy, with Loveland’s Office of Emergency Management] said the Big Thompson’s waters flowed at 400 cubic feet per second…

At Estes Park’s Olympus Dam, which sits on Lake Estes and feeds into the Big Thompson, the water flow level was at 900 cfs, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. On Monday night, near Glade Road, the river’s levels were at 550 cfs, Mialy said…

Though they were higher Tuesday morning, water flow levels through the Poudre measured in at 2,800 cfs by afternoon, said Rick Bachand, manager of Fort Collins’ Natural Areas Environmental Program. Levels peaked at 4,600 cfs when the Poudre flooded this time last year, he said.

From 9News.com (Kevin Torres):

Portions of Northern Coloradoremained under a flood advisory Tuesday night as the Poudre River continued to rise by the hour. Emergency management teams have closed down several trails along the swollen river with hopes of preventing anyone from slipping in.

From The Greeley Tribune (Sharon Dunn):

The [Cache la Pourdre] river hit its season high Tuesday morning and jumped its banks in a handful of areas in west Greeley and Windsor…

While river flows reached a season high of 3,290 at the mouth of the Poudre Canyon on Tuesday morning, Greeley residents didn’t feel that right away, as it takes 12 hours to get here from the mouth of the canyon. Duran-Blietz was experiencing flows of 3,070 cfs registered Monday…

“It’s all a matter of what’s going on higher up, because all the low snow has melted,” said Brian Werner, spokesman for the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. “It’s what’s happening at 10,000 feet, because we know there’s a lot of snow up there still, and it’s dense. We just don’t know how fast it will come down.” Werner said there is enough snowpack to create up to 8,000 cfs. That is just shy of what officials consider a 100-year flood event…

Werner, however, said a true peak of water is not expected until Father’s Day — almost two weeks away. “I probably wouldn’t go out on a crystal ball just yet and say 7,000 to 8,000, but we know the water is there if it heats up real quick,” Werner said.

From the Boulder Daily Camera (Amy Bounds):

Boulder officials warned Tuesday that, over the next few days, water levels in Boulder Creek are expected to rise and possibly spill over onto underpasses. As high temperatures increase the snowpack runoff, Barker Reservoir is expected to fill and spill as early as Wednesday, officials said. While Boulder County, unlike some other areas of the state, doesn’t have a record snowpack this year, it’s still above average…

The water in the snowpack of the South Platte River Basin was more than three times the amount that’s normally there on May 31 and four times the amount that was there last year, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Since Oct. 1, the South Platte River Basin — which includes the mountains in western Boulder County — has received one-third more precipitation compared with an average year…

By the end of the day Tuesday, the flow in Boulder Creek at Broadway was expected to reach 500 cubic feet per second. After the reservoir spill, the flow is expected to increase to 600 to 800 cfs. Scattered thunderstorms, in the forecast for Wednesday night, Thursday and Friday, could bump that up higher.

From the Vail Daily (Scott N. Miller):

The U.S. Geological Survey’s online stream tracker showed the Eagle River at Dotsero had passed its flood stage by about 3 inches Tuesday. Elsewhere, water was spreading across the Eaton property across the river from the Eagle River Preserve, which usually is at least partly flooded in the spring. Firefighters from the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District helped put sandbags around Mike Crabtree’s home hard against the river’s banks just east of the roundabout at the intersection of U.S. Highway 6 and Eby Creek Road…

486: Eagle River flow, in cubic feet per second, at Red Cliff.
5,040: Eagle River flow just west of Wolcott.
5,880: Eagle River flow at Dotsero.
18,400: Colorado River flow at Dotsero.

From the Loveland Reporter-Herald (Madeline Novey):

Out of concern for public safety after the National Weather Service issued a flooding advisory in Colorado today, access to the Cache La Poudre River from various points is now closed.

From the Longmont Times-Call:

By the end of today, water flow in Boulder Creek at Broadway could reach 500 cubic feet per second, up from current flow of 200 cfs, according to the city. After the reservoir spills, the flow could reach from 600 to 800 cfs at Broadway.

From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Ashley Keesis-Wood):

The [Cache la Poudre] river’s flow was 2,790 cfs (cubic feet per second) at 10:45 a.m. today, and in addition to River Place Drive, the Poudre River Trail at 7th Street, Oxbow Disc Golf Course and other portions of the Poudre River Trail going between Colorado Highway 257 and 83 Avenue were also shut down due to high floodwaters…

Last year, the Poudre River, which overflowed its banks in many parts of the Windsor area, peaked at 4,700 cubic feet per second (cfs) on June 12 and was still running at about 3,300 cfs on June 15. This year is anticipated to be worse, with the peak flows expected between 6,000-8,000 cfs, officials say.

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