Runoff news: Denver Water releases from Dillon Reservoir to push the Blue River over its banks in Silverthorne

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From the Summit Daily News (Caddie Nath):

In the wake of a week of thunderstorms, Denver Water is preparing to release enough water from Dillon Reservoir downstream today to overflow the banks of the Blue River in Silverthorne.

“With all the rain we’ve been having it’s causing some extra problems,” assistant county manager Thad Noll said. “It also causes snow to melt faster. That’s the double whammy of rain.”

Denver Water has kept reservoir levels low all season, anticipating high runoff levels after record snowfall last winter, but heavy rain this week has increased inflows to the lake, raising water levels and leaving Denver Water and Silverthorne with a tough choice: release slightly more water than the Blue River can handle now and buy some time keeping the reservoir levels as low as possible, or keep controlling the outflow from the lake and be faced with a lot more water coming downstream when the reservoir finally fills.

The Blue River, downstream from the dam, can officially handle about 1,800 cubic feet of water per second (cfs). But current inflows to the reservoir are exceeding 2,400 cfs and once the reservoir fills completely, that is exactly how much water will have to be released downstream.

From Steamboat Today (Matt Stensland):

The Elk River just west of Steamboat peaked for the season at 5 a.m. June 7, when it reached a gauge height of 8.14 feet at the Routt County Road 42 bridge. The water was moving at 8,250 cubic feet per second, breaking the all-time record 6,970 cfs set June 8, 2010. It was a 100-year flooding event.

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