Runoff news: The Colorado River is still running high — 48,700 cfs at the state line

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From NBC11News.com (Cecile Juliette):

An early morning check of the Cameo gauge on Thursday revealed that the Colorado River had receded slightly. On Wednesday it was recorded at 13.4 feet, and on Thursday it measured 13.1 feet. A check of the Colorado/Utah border gauge revealed that the water levels have remained the same for nearly 24 hours. It registered at 15.2 feet on Wednesday and Thursday morning.

From the Telluride Daily Planet (Brittany Lane):

According to local Thom Carnevale, who keeps weather records, the San Juan Mountains saw only 41.75 inches of snow in February and March combined, lower than average levels. Then, April alone received 55 inches, compared to the average monthly total of 22.8. May collected 25.25 inches this year, much higher than the average of 7.2 inches. At the end of April, Carnevale observed snow levels of 147-160 percent of normal, while other parts of the state currently in the flood advisory stage saw more than 200 percent of normal. Coupled with a cool spring, the late snow has led to a longer -lasting snowpack on higher peaks, at least until recently.

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

The Poudre River officially overflowed its banks on Monday and rising waters were continuing to spread across portions of south-central Windsor late Tuesday…The river’s flow was 2,790 cfs (cubic feet per second) at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.

From The Rifle Citizen Telegram (John Gardner):

City crews along with Colorado Department of Transportation crews were busy building a levee on the bank along Lions Park Circle, Tuesday, in hopes of containing the raging Colorado River…

High water in Rifle Creek, north of Rifle, also caused the city of Rifle to close Rifle Mountain Park to public access on June 3…

According to Rifle Mayor Keith Lambert this is the highest water he can remember since 1984 when Garfield County saw historic water levels of 30,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). The Colorado River was running at around 24,400 cfs Wednesday morning, according to the US Geological Survey. That was down slightly from Tuesday levels.

From The Greeley Tribune (Sharon Dunn):

“Now, nobody’s taking much water,” said Brian Werner, spokesman for the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. “Farmers don’t need it, they want warm days to start the growing process. We’d like to store some of it. We just need some buckets somewhere.” Excess water is floating downstream to Nebraska, about 500 cubic feet per second more than the law requires. It’s water that could have been diverted for future storage, water officials say…

[Poudre] River flows hit highs again Wednesday of more than 3,350 cfs at the canyon mouth; in the river gauge near Greeley, the flow was at 2,100 cfs, with water depth of more than 8 feet, one foot below flood stage.

From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (John Stroud/Jury Jerome):

Up Main Elk Creek north of New Castle, a private bridge leading to a home washed away overnight Tuesday, stranding the owner on the other side of the creek from the county road, Garfield County Road and Bridge foreman Wyatt Keesbery reported on the county’s website.

From the Craig Daily Press (Ben McCanna):

On Wednesday, a USGS monitoring station west of Craig measured the highest flows since the station was installed in 1984. “It’s a relatively short period of record we have at that gauge,” [Michael Lewis, associate director of hydrologic data at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Colorado Water Science Center in Lakewood] said. “It was started in ’84. But, it is a new record for that gauge.” The gauge recorded flows of 16,200 cubic feet per second Wednesday afternoon, and the water level was just shy of a benchmark, Lewis said. “We’re just a tenth of a foot short of flood stage, which is 11 ½ feet,” he said.

Downstream from Craig, flows are the second highest in recorded history. The highest flows were recorded in 1984, Lewis said. In Maybell on Wednesday, the flow was measured at 19,000 cfs. The next highest reading was 25,1000 cfs in 1984.

From KJCT8.com (Jeremy Alm):

Mesa County officials say the high waters of the Colorado river are starting to recede.

From the Vail Daily (Scott N. Miller):

Gage stations on the Eagle and Colorado rivers at Wolcott reported “high” streamflows Tuesday, and the Eagle River station was actually above flood stage. Both those stations backed down to “much above normal” Wednesday.

From the Sky-Hi Daily News (Tonya Bina):

Denver Water diverters are vowing to do what the utility can in its power to have the [Moffat water tunnel] running when runoff peaks, according to Bob Steger, manager of raw water supply at Denver Water. Water operations involving the Fraser River, Gross Reservoir and South Boulder Creek on the Eastern Slope are operating at status quo. Each year, Denver Water takes native water on South Boulder Creek, but how much depends on senior rights downstream of Gross Reservoir, Steger said. “We don’t know how much it’s going to last or how much we get each day,” he said. Although flows on South Boulder Creek are going up, the manager said, so far this year’s calls are “nothing out of the ordinary.”[…]

At present, water is being taken from the Fraser River at a rate of about 705 cubic feet per second, or a volume of about 1,400 acre feet a day. As of Tuesday, June 7, Gross Reservoir was at 58 feet from full, or about 20,000 acre feet. Once the reservoir gets closer to full, Steger said, the utility plans on slowing filling to “top (the reservoir) off slowly.” “We’re just focused on getting the reservoir full and having the tunnel on when the snowpack peaks,” he said. “Nobody knows when it’s going to peak.”

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