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Flood risk low in Garfield County

Heidi Rice
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Although warmer weather has brought the expected increase in river flows and potential flooding, conditions are holding steady in Garfield County.

“I think we’re in pretty good shape,” said Chris Bornholdt, emergency manager for Garfield County. “But we’re supposed to peak Tuesday afternoon.”

The county government is giving free sandbags to property owners to hold back floodwaters.

“The rivers are flowing pretty good right now, but there’s not a whole lot of change,” said Aldis Stautins, service hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “There is no danger of flooding in Glenwood Springs at the moment. There’s more [threat] to Eagle County and Mesa County.

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“There are few areas [near Glenwood] that are flowing pretty good, but there’s not been a whole lot of change,” he said. “It looks like it will come up a little more and increase maybe another 3,000 cfs in the next couple of days.”

The flows through the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs were over 22,000 cubic feet per second, or cfs, as of Monday morning, according to Bornholdt. Flooding occurs at about 31,000 cfs.

“We’re expected to get to about 26,000 CFS by 9 p.m. Tuesday,” Bornholdt said

In Rifle, flows in Rifle Creek are high but not at flood level, Stautins said.

As of Monday, Rifle Creek was running at 140 cfs. Flood levels for the creek are typically at 190 cfs, according to Stautins.

Those recreating on any of the local rivers are urged to use extreme caution. Currents are very strong at these levels, the water is cold and there is little room for error for boaters, anglers and anyone wanting to get close to the raging rivers.

‘The rivers are running hard and fast,” Stautins said. “If you’re recreating, be sure to go with an experienced guide.”

But as of right now, flooding doesn’t seem to be an imminent problem.

“In Garfield County, so far, things are OK,” Stautins said.


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