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Colorado Rivers Rise With Warmer Temperatures Melting Record Snowpack, Flooding Concerns Statewide

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COLORADO FLOOD WATCH
AP

Flood advisories were issued by the National Weather Service last night and this morning for areas in northwest Colorado for areas around Jackson and County and Rand as well as Grand Junction and areas surrounding the Colorado River and is in effect until 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

It appears to be just the beginning of what many are concerned will be a season of severe flooding due to record snow pack in the Colorado mountains and with the arrival of warm Spring-Summer weather this week, finally.

CBSDenver reports that the snowpack is more than three times the average in the South Platte River Basin, which the Poudre and Big Thompson Rivers are part of and run through Larimer County.

In a statement made to CBSDenver, Erik Nilsson, Larimer County Emergency Manager says about the potential for flooding:

These snowpacks are off the chart. My gut tells me that we’re going into somewhat uncharted waters; that we’re just going to have to play it by ear. This isn’t a flash flood. To a great extent we’ll see this coming. We’ll see the river rising slowly.

Estes Park is bracing for flood as well, according to a 7News report that snowpack is more than double the average for the high country, higher water flows are expected by the end of the week and over the weekend.

Colorado Springs Gazette reports that in Steamboat Springs, areas around the Yampa River were already experiencing unusually high water. Jay Wetzler, owner of Steamboat Hotel, which had water levels near its door, made this statement to the Steamboat Pilot:

The scary thing is we're not even close to peak runoff. We're at least two weeks away.

The Denver Post reports that several rivers and creeks could flood come end of week, including Colorado, Yampa, Gunnison, Crystal, Elk, Little Snake and Illinois rivers, as well as Fortification, Troublesome, Muddy and Willow creeks.

The Colorado River was at 348 percent of its seasonal flow on Tuesday near Kremmling and the U.S. Geological Survey measured the river depth at 14 feet -- flood stage is at 15 feet, the Denver Post reports.

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