#Runoff news: Streamflow up in Big Thompson

Olympus Dam photo via the US Bureau of Reclamation.
Olympus Dam photo via the US Bureau of Reclamation.

From The Estes Park Trail-Gazette (David Persons):

A storm over Estes Park on Thursday night has greatly increased the runoff along the Big Thompson River and Fall River and, as a result, has increased the flow into Lake Estes.

A U.S. Bureau of Reclamation official said early today that the increased flow is forcing the bureau, which owns and controls the flow of water out of Lake Estes, to increase the outflow at Olympus Dam back into the Big Thompson River.

“We were forced to increase releases early and higher than previously planned,” said Peter Soeth, the Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Denver. “The releases are currently 450 cfs (cubic feet per second), and we might be going a little higher today in anticipation of what could be coming down from the mountains tonight.”

The local river runoff into Lake Estes, which has been slow this spring compared to last year, was averaging 350-490 cfs on Thursday. However, it started increasing overnight and peaked at 616 cfs around 1:30 a.m. today. The runoff inflow into the lake was at 505 cfs at 8:45 a.m. today.

In addition to the amount that the bureau is releasing through Olympus Dam, another 550 cfs is being diverted through Olympus Tunnel and is released back into the Big Thompson River at the mouth of the canyon at the power plant.

The total amount of water currently being released from Lake Estes — by way of the dam and tunnel — is approximately 1,000 cfs.

From The Brush News-Tribune (Jenni Grubbs):

While the South Platte River has gone down a bit in recent weeks, it is still running quite high and fast, according to the National Weather Service and Morgan County Office of Emergency Management.

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