#Runoff news: Twin Lakes will fill sometime tomorrow so they will stop diverting from the Roaring Fork

Water from the Roaring Fork River basin heading east out of the end of the Twin Lakes Tunnel (June 2016). Photo: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

From TheDenverChannel.com (Stephanie Butzer):

The Roaring Fork River is expected to, well, roar a little more in the coming days.

Experts say the river, which is a 70-mile tributary of the Colorado River that runs through the Roaring Fork Valley, is expected to overflow soon.

Rivers in the Roaring Fork Valley will see an increase of flows this week as temperatures warm and kickstart more melting of snowpack at higher elevations.

Twin Lakes Colorado Canal Company has informed officials in Pitkin County that its space in the Twin Lakes Reservoir will fill on the Fourth of July. Once that occurs, Twin Lakes will stop diverting water from the Roaring Fork River and Lincoln Creek through a tunnel at Grizzly Reservoir. Instead, this water will be released into the Roaring Fork River…

The water flow, which is measured in cubic feet per second (cfs), has increase dramatically in the past few days. April Long, the Clean River Program manager in Aspen, said the Roaring Fork River reached 850 cfs on June 21, dipped down to 300 cfs a few days later, but climbed back up to 900 cfs this past weekend. By Monday morning, it had reached 970. Without a diversion of the water coming from the Twin Lakes system, the river could reach 1400 cfs by Friday, Long said. This will depend on remaining snowpack, temperatures, cloud cover and precipitation.

That sort of water flow was last seen in 2015 and 2016, when it maxed out at 1680 and 1160 cfs, respectively.

Rick Larafo, director with the Roaring Fork Conservancy, said predicting peak river flow has been a challenge this year…

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a flood advisory for the Crystal River, which is a tributary of the Roaring Fork River, near Redstone in Pitkin County. Redstone sits about 30 minutes south of Carbondale.

Red Cliff miner dinner 1888

From 9News.com (Janet Oravetz):

Two homes have flooded and a bridge was nearly washed away by rising water from the Turkey Creek in the small town of Red Cliff.

Volunteers spent Sunday night into Monday morning filling sandbags along Turkey Creek which runs through the small town of Red Cliff in Eagle County about 9 miles south of Minturn.

In a tweet just before midnight Sunday, the county asked for volunteers to fill the sandbags. They asked anyone who could help to come to the Green Bridge Inn on Water Street.

All that wasn’t enough to keep the water from creeping into at least two homes…

One big worry is that in Red Cliff gas lines run under many of the bridges and if the bridges were to wash out so would the gas lines.

One bridge is sinking and in danger of washing away. Lenard Sandoval and several other residents helped save another bridge and gas line.

“The water started flowing over the bridge and we didn’t want to lose that because it would be a disaster,” Sandoval said. “We had to remove a few trees and big stumps floating down the river.”

Eagle County and Eagle River Fire helped with sand and sandbagging and Xcel is watching the gas lines. Everyone will be keeping a close eye on the water levels in the coming days…

Early Monday afternoon, the county government put out a warning to residents that, rivers and creeks in Eagle County were running high and were full of large debris due to recent rain and snowmelt.

View down Clear Creek from the Empire Trail 1873 via the USGS

From Patch.com (Amber Fisher):

Runoff from this winter’s heavy snowfall has prompted restricted access to Clear Creek. Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader and the Golden Police Department are limiting waterway activities on the creek.

The restrictions will remain until the water levels decrease.

Two people were rescued from Clear Creek Friday after falling off their tubes near Billy Drew Bridge. They were taken to a hospital in fair condition.

Body surfing and swimming are prohibited under the order. All single-chambered air inflated devices — such as belly boats, inner tubes and single chambered rafts — are also prohibited.

Kayaks, whitewater canoes, multi-chambered professionally guided rafts, river boards, and stand up paddle boards are exempt; however, those who use them must wear a Type I, Type III, or Type V Coast Guard-approved paddling life jacket and a water use designed helmet.

Green Mountain Reservoir, on the Blue River between Kremmling and and Silverthorne, was built for Western Slope interests. Photo/Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District via The Mountain Town News.

From email from Reclamation (James Bishop):

Today, Tuesday, July 2, releases from Green Mountain Dam to the Blue River will increase according to the following schedule:

3:00 p.m. Adjust release to 1,700 cfs
5:00 p.m. Adjust release from 1,700 cfs to 1,900 cfs
7:00 p.m. Adjust release from 1,900 cfs to 2,100 cfs

Releases will remain at 2,100 cfs after 7 p.m. until further notice.

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