Runoff news: Many eyes are still on the Cache la Poudre, there is a lot of water yet to come off

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From The Greeley Tribune (Sharon Dunn):

With 60 percent of the snowpack still pinched into the mountains up the Poudre Canyon, there’s always the chance of something going wrong. If the mountains receive a lot of rain, for example, state water officials have said, “all bets are off.”

Local officials are paying heed to such concerns. “We respect what this can do,” said Joel Hemesath, public works director for Greeley. “Snow is a dangerous thing, and rain on snow, things can change real quick. We’re not letting our guard down by any means and we’re not going to empty the sandbags.”[…]

At the mouth of the canyon, water levels have only slightly risen in the past couple of days. On Thursday, the river registered 2,860 cubic feet per second, not quite as high as last week, but up since Monday’s low. The slowing flows prompted state water officials to declare the Poudre had peaked. Cooler-than-expected temperatures and a tight snowpack have made runoff slower than officials had expected. Even if extra water comes down, Poudre River water commissioner George Varra said, local irrigation ditches that should be running at full speed could help ease off 1,800 cubic feet per second…

“We look at both Upper Colorado and Poudre (basins), and from both we figured we’ll have somewhere around 400,000 acre feet of runoff this year, and it’s run off roughly 150,000 acre feet so far.”

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