Coyote Gulch's Colorado Water
The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land. -- Luna Leopold

Central Colorado Water Conservancy District

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Friday, May 23, 2008

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From The Sterling Journal Advocate: "Sterling city residents, with the exception of the few who have wells, have been living under water restrictions for several years now. These restrictions are in place again, and we shouldn't expect them to go away any time soon...The formula for Sterling water customers is easy, and can be programmed into most lawn systems. Odd-numbered addresses water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Even-numbered addresses can water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. No one is to water on Mondays."

Category: Colorado Water
6:33:11 AM    

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Officials are urging boaters to stay off the Colorado River this weekend, according to The Grand Junction Free Press. From the article:

City and county authorities urge recreational river users to stay off the Colorado River, which is running high and fast -- and is full of debris. Recreating on the river right now is a "bad idea" because of the huge amount of debris, said Grand Junction Fire Department spokesman Mike Page. "If you get in trouble on the river, rescue operations will be very risky and we'd strongly consider no rescue attempt," Page said. "So you're (possibly) on your own if you need a rescue."

The bike path that runs along I-70 though Glenwood Canyon is closed until further notice due to flooding.

Local areas of concern include: Mile Marker 16 on I-70 eastbound; Connected Lakes Colorado State Parks in Grand Junction; Riverfront Trail near Junior Service League Park, 24 Road to Redlands Parkway; Palisade River Bend Park; I-70 at Plateau Creek where it flows into the Colorado River.

The Yampa River is out of its banks in a couple of places, according to The Craig Daily Press. From the article:

On Thursday, high Yampa River waters prompted the Moffat County Road and Bridge Department to close the bridge on Moffat County Road 53 south of U.S. Highway 40. Private lands in Craig and parts of Loudy-Simpson Park also flooded Thursday, as well as Deer Lodge Park west of Maybell the night before. However, flooding in those areas is nothing new, said Jay Wagner, whose business, Wagner Ranches, owns lands south of First Street and U.S. 40. "That's always a low spot," he said about the C.R. 53 bridge. "Being a lifelong resident of Moffat County, I've seen the river do a lot worse."[...]

As of Thursday, Road and Bridge and Moffat County Sheriff's Office crews were monitoring levels on the Little Snake River and the Williams Fork near Hamilton. Little Snake waters had "washed out" County Road 129 in the northeast corner of Moffat County by mid-Thursday afternoon, said Linda DeRose, Road and Bridge manager. The road still was considered passable, though, and left open...

The Yampa River was close to a foot over its bank levels Thursday, according to a gauge shortly downstream from Craig, he said. However, the river should drop below its banks by tonight. "This isn't the last of what we'll see for high flows, though," Pringle said. "There's still quite a bit of water left in the snowpack up in the mountains." He said there is an average of 10 to 20 inches of water left in Northwest Colorado snowpack. Some areas have more, such as the 47 inches of water left in places around Steamboat Springs.

More runoff news from The Steamboat Pilot & Today:

Although still above flood stage, the swollen waters of the Elk River are expected to recede this weekend along with temperatures, bringing relief to residents near the Elk's confluence with the Yampa River. The area of the confluence has been flooded to varying degrees since Monday because of the record flows...

Because of Thursday's rain and melting snow, a National Weather Service flood advisory is in effect for Routt County until 8:45 a.m. today. Small creeks and streams across the county are running at or above their banks, and flooding of adjacent land is likely, according to the advisory. A flood warning for the Elk River near Milner was due to expire late Thursday. The Elk River was measured at 7.8 feet at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, well above flood stage, which begins at 7 feet. The Elk River measured at 7.78 feet about 6 a.m. Thursday but had dropped to 7.32 feet by the afternoon. The river was flowing at 5,690 cubic feet per second at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, down from 7,100 cfs the previous day...

Some riverside residents of Dream Island had preemptively sandbagged the banks of the Yampa on Thursday. The Yampa River Core Trail was closed under the 13th Street Bridge, as its pathway already was underwater with the river expected to continue rising. Discharge for the Yampa River measured at 3,130 cfs at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, well above May 22's historical average of 2,060 cfs, but also significantly below the fastest recorded flow of 4,300 cfs on May 22, 1984. The Yampa's flow was hovering near 1,000 cfs only a week ago, according to the USGS.

Here's some runoff news from The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:

While most Grand Junction residents were sleeping, the Colorado River was wide awake, spreading its girth from bank to bank. The river was predicted to reach full strength around 5 a.m. today. A day before the river's anticipated crest, at a depth of about 12 1/2 feet at Cameo, Mesa County officials were seeing flooding of low-lying areas such as Corn Lake, west of 32 Road, and the Connected Lakes area between the Redlands Parkway and Broadway. The river also exceeded its normal bounds east of Loma, lapping at the eastbound shoulder of Interstate 70 and giving the Colorado Department of Transportation cause for concern over the safety of the highway's spans near the Little and Big Salt washes in far western Fruita...

Westbound I-70, however, was closed Thursday evening between Grand Junction and Loma because of rising water in the area...CDOT is checking the Gunnison Bridge on Colorado Highway 141 just past Whitewater several times per day, he said. Another area of concern for CDOT is I-70 through Glenwood Canyon, where the bike path was closed Tuesday between Grizzly Creek and the Hanging Lake rest areas. It will remain closed until further notice. Connected Lakes and the Corn Lake area west of 32 Road are experiencing rising waters. The city closed a portion of the Riverfront Trail on Thursday between the Junior Service League Park on the Redlands Parkway and 24 Road to the Riverside Park. City crews are continuing to reinforce a dike east of the Junior Service League Park to protect a wetlands mitigation pond. High spring runoff down the Gunnison River has forced the city of Delta to close trails in Confluence Park, and about 20 acres of wildlife area are under water, Delta officials said.

Here's the runoff news from the Roaring Fork Valley, from The Glenwood Springs Independent. They write:

The Crystal River's water level jumped 2 feet overnight Tuesday to approach flood stage but authorities reported no problems. The Crystal jumped from slightly higher than 3 feet to more than 5 feet early Wednesday before the water level started receding, according to gauging station information posted on the Internet by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The river's flow was at 2,240 cubic feet per second (cfs) Wednesday, the highest for that date in 52 years. The previous record was 1,770, the USGS site said...

Emergency management officials said they expect waters in rivers and streams throughout the Roaring Fork Valley basin to be up to the banks sometime this morning. The National Weather Service issued flood advisories for Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties Wednesday and into Thursday. There is a flood warning for Gunnison County to the south of Aspen.

Category: Colorado Water
6:06:49 AM    

Here's some information about helping the victims of yesterday's tornadoes in Northern Colorado, from

Our thoughts are with y'all.

6:00:48 AM    

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