Big Thompson Flood: July 31, 1976

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The night of July 31, 1976 I was holed up in Steamboat Springs. I had been backpacking with Mrs. Gulch in the Flattops Wilderness for a week or so — drizzle in between downpours during the Colorado monsoon season – and bailed out for the usual, hot shower, cold beer and someone else’s cooking.

I called Denver to check in. My mother asked, “Johnny, are you anywhere near the Big Thompson Canyon?”

“Nope,” I said.

She added, “There’s been a terrible flood.”

Click here for my post from a while back with the link to a 9News (Chris Gallegos) piece about the 30th memorial service.

Drought/precipitation news: Horsestooth Reservoir levels dropping, marina prepares to close

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From the Northern Colorado Business Report (Steve Lynn):

Water levels are dropping so fast that owners of about 300 boats docked at the Inlet Bay Marina at Horsetooth Reservoir will have to remove their vessels earlier than normal…

The reservoir was 34 feet below capacity Monday and could drop another 16 feet by the end of August, said Brian Werner, spokesman for the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. Water levels are decreasing from a few inches to a foot daily as farmers and cities draw on their allotments from the Colorado-Big Thompson Project.

Water levels are about 5 percent below average as farmers and cities contend with the ongoing drought, Werner said. The effects of the High Park Fire on the Poudre River also have led the city of Greeley to use more reservoir water than it normally would this time of year.

More Colorado-Big Thompson Project coverage here.

From Steamboat Today (Scott Franz):

The 3.05 inches Steamboat measured so far this month is nearly double the city’s historic average of 1.61 inches of rain for July…

The Yampa River, bolstered by the recent storms and continued release of water from Stagecoach Reservoir, was flowing at 117 cubic feet per second under the Fifth Street Bridge on Sunday afternoon. The recent abundance of rainfall also has spurred some Northwest Colorado fire officials to call for easing the Stage 2 fire restrictions that have been in place in Routt County since late last month.

Green Mountain Reservoir operations update: 315 cfs in the Blue River below the dam

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From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

The Upper Colorado River Basin has received more rain. As a result, contributions from Green Mountain have been curtailed by another 50 cfs. That means the release to the lower Blue River below Green Mountain Dam is now about 315 cfs.

More Green Mountain Reservoir coverage here and here.