From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Seth Boster):
In Lake City this week, a small team finished building a deep channel 1,000 feet long — a diversion in case Henson Creek’s banks are breached, said the team’s Michael Davis. Another berm is being built closer to town to protect the historical buildings and unpaved roads.
Converging streams near Lake City always have posed flooding risks, but this unprecedented threat is seen in aerial photos of new avalanche fields packed with big trees and boulders. The timber is about 300 years old, Davis said.
“That means they’re coming from areas that have not slid in the past 300 years, and that also means we’re changing the topography of the mountains. So where we once had a dense forest of mature trees that held the snow and the rains, we now have a new slide chute.”
It’s a slide chute for that debris to come rushing with water down into the creek, potentially building up, clogging and starting a chain of events that people on this side of the San Juan Mountains haven’t dealt with in generations…
In several basins, about half of the accumulations are waiting to melt…
San Juan County’s rivers are high enough to create “minor flooding,” [Jim] Donovan said. “But we still have a lot of snow in the mountains, so we’re not assuming anything.”
Heading into June, the Colorado Water Conservation Board warned that the delayed snowmelt might heighten the flooding risk, as June is expected to be a wet month statewide. Predicted long-lasting high water, the board said unforeseen conditions, such as sustained warmth or rain, have led to floods even in years of low snowpack…
Flash flood advisories and warnings have lingered in several parts of Colorado this month. In Huerfano County. fear of washouts and mudslides remain after last year’s major wildfire.
On the other end of the San Luis Valley, residents of Del Norte and South Fork can’t remember when the Rio Grande looked so high…
Stretches of the river have been closed to boating and fishing, and RV parks were on voluntary evacuation last weekend. First responders are preparing equipment and sandbags, as in Lake City.
From CBS4 Denver:
Pueblo officials restricted access to the Arkansas River Tuesday, one day after a Texas man lost his life farther upstream.
The river has now been restricted to whitewater canoes and kayaks from Lake Pueblo’s dam east to the Pueblo-Otero County Line by Colorado Parks & Wildlife, the Pueblo Police Department, and the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office. Swimmers, rafters, and innertubers, no matter how well equipped, will be ticketed if they are discovered in the water.
According to the National Weather Service, the Arkansas River exceeded flood stage early Tuesday afternoon in the town of Avondale just downstream of Pueblo. Minor flooding is occurring…
Above Lake Pueblo, more snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains is already on its way downhill. The NWS predicts the Arkansas will reach flood stage in Canon City shortly after midnight Friday, and stay above it for at least two days.
Even farther upstream, rafting companies are voluntarily avoiding three sections of the Arkansas between Granite and Buena Vista, and in the Royal Gorge, following high water warnings.
From CBS4 Denver (Matt Kroschel):
The Arkansas River near Salida will welcome thousands of spectators and competitors this weekend to FIBArk (First in Boating on the Arkansas River). Many crowd favorite events, however, have already been scrapped due to rising waters.
The cubic feet per second reading on the Arkansas on Monday in Salida was measured over 4,000 sending water close to the top of the historic concrete bridge on F Street in downtown. This isn’t even peak runoff flow yet.
FIBArk announced the list of canceled events which includes the Hooligan Race, the Stand Up Paddle board event on Friday, the SUP Cross on Saturday, and the Crazy River Dog Contest on Sunday — all canceled because of unsafe conditions.