Runoff news: Tubing still restricted on Routt County streams

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From Steamboat Today (Matt Stensland):

The partial-use restriction forbids using “single-chambered, air-inflated devices such as the inner tubes and air mattresses typically found on the Yampa River during tubing season. Officials say they are looking out for the safety of would-be tubers as well as the emergency responders or bystanders who might attempt a rescue should tubers get in trouble…

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the Yampa downtown was running at 2,650 cubic feet per second Tuesday afternoon. That is significantly higher than the 559 cfs July 5 average. Commercial tube operators oftentimes are accommodating hundreds of tubers a day by now, but Backdoor Sports owner Peter Van De Carr said the river has to drop to 700 cubic feet per second before he can start inflating tubes. Even at that level, tubing is limited to adults, and they are required to wear a life jacket.

From Steamboat Today (Tom Ross):

Records kept by the U.S. Geological Survey show that Wednesday morning’s flow of 2,630 cubic feet per second at Fifth Street eclipsed the old record for July 6 of 2,430 cfs set in 1957. A significant portion of that flow was attributable to Fish Creek, which was flowing at 695 cfs Wednesday morning. Fish Creek, which enters the Yampa upstream from Fifth Street, was flowing at 1,400 cfs as recently as July 3, or three times the median flow of the Yampa on that date. The Elk River near its confluence with the Yampa west of Steamboat was also flowing at a record level of 3,660 cfs Wednesday. The previous record on the Elk was even older — a flow of 2,990 recorded in 1917…

Winter’s last bastion in Colorado is plainly Buffalo Pass, northeast of Steamboat Springs on the Continental Divide, where the snow remains almost 5 feet deep.

The Natural Resources Conversation Service’s remote sensing instruments showed a measurement of 59 inches of snow containing 29.9 inches of water Wednesday morning. And U.S. Forest Service personnel who visited and photographed a weather station maintained by Steamboat weather observer Art Judson on Tuesday supported that data. They measured two snow stakes not far from the NRCS Tower site that showed 66 inches and 50 inches of snow, respectively.

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