Runoff news: Heavy rain has Peru Creek running high

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From (Wayne Harrison):

Sheriff’s officials said heavy rains Friday prompted warnings to residents to be ready to leave. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Tracy LeClair said Peru Creek has been running high with melting snow and the area is getting heavy rain. LeClair said the sheriff’s office will decide whether mandatory evacuations are necessary. Montezuma in central Colorado is about eight miles east of the Keystone resort and about 10,000 feet in elevation.

From the Delta County Independent (Kathy Browning):

“In the state of the river address with plotted snow pack for the North Fork, we are down below our peak snow pack. . . We are down far enough that even if it turned really hot or rained, we wouldn’t have any problems here,” [Paonia mayor Neal Schwieterman] explained. “Now the snow packs on Grand Mesa and above Crested Butte are nowhere near having the peak [snow pack] being drained off. Delta has more issues. Based on our potential for flooding, we are pretty sure we are beyond it up here.”[…]

Mike Owens, Hotchkiss public works director, also agrees there is no danger in Hotchkiss of flooding. The river is running well below levels back in the 1990s when equipment was placed on the Highway 92 bridge to lift out debris from the water.

From the Summit Daily News (Janice Kurbjin):

Silverthorne, Dillon, Buffalo Mountain, Mesa Cortina and Dillon Valley are all partners in the [Joint Sewer Authority’s Blue River Waste Water Treatment Plant]…

This year’s high flows didn’t affect the plant’s ability to treat water, but officials were keeping a close eye on inflow and infiltration levels to make sure it wouldn’t exceed capacity. At the same time, they were taking a look at the 80 to 100 miles of sewer line and manholes to identify cracks, holes and joints that needed fixing to prevent groundwater from entering the system and overflowing its capacity. “We don’t know it until the water’s high,” [Silverthorne utilities manager Zach Margolis] said, explaining that high groundwater tables allow officials to see the problems that aren’t otherwise visible…

In addition to spot fixes, the clay pipes installed in the 1970s have been almost entirely relined, he added.

From the Summit Daily News (Janice Kurbjin):

The FIBArk Whitewater Festival takes place Thursday through Sunday in and around Salida, where boaters gather for races, freestyle competitions, live music and beer from New Belgium Brewery and more. The Pine Creek race is the first competition for the weekend. Because commercial rafting cutoff for the section is at 1,200 cubic feet per second and as of Wednesday it was running at about 3,000 cfs, officials decided to move it downstream. “Safety first,” FIBArk Board president Samantha Lane said. “We might scare everyone away if we held it in Pine Creek because it’s so big.”

Southern Delivery System update: Colorado Springs Utilities is at odds with some of the landowners along the route

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From (David Ortiviz):

The billion dollar pipeline project will transfer water from the Pueblo Dam to Colorado Springs, Fountain, Security and Pueblo West. The issue–the pipeline will intersect more than a hundred properties. Land owners are being compensated, but some say they’re not being offered enough money. “I’m not going to let them bully me and take my property and give me peanuts for it,” said [Lavetta Kay]. Kay was offered $5,300 for her easement, however she wants triple that amount. Kay points out land owners won’t be able to build any permanent structures above the pipeline. “(Realtors) said my property won’t be able to be sold. It’s stigmatized,” said Kay…

Rummel says they’ve reached an agreement with most property owners, but they’re at an impasse with about ten of them like Kay who think they’re being ripped off. Rummel says SDS will still get to use the land through eminent domain. “The court will come in decide what we should pay these property owners and they will be compensated,” said [Janet Rummel, a spokesperson for SDS].

More coverage from (David Ortiviz):

Construction is underway on a massive underground pipeline designed to meet future water needs in Southern Colorado…

From the reservoir the pipeline will run north through Pueblo West up to Colorado Springs. Phase one, which includes pump stations and a water treatment plant should be finished by 2016…

Phase two of the project is to build two new reservoirs in El Paso County. Rummel says construction on the reservoirs should start around 2020. Although it’s a lengthy and expensive project, Rummel says it gives communities a reliable water system for years to come. “It’s really an investment in our future, for future generations,” said Rummel.

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.