Yampa River steadies around Steamboat, forecast to rise
June 1, 2011
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Historical annual Yampa River crests at the Fifth Street Bridge in Steamboat Springs. Flood stage for the Yampa River is 7.5 feet. Source: National weather service
By the numbers
Historical annual Yampa River crests at the Fifth Street Bridge in Steamboat Springs. Flood stage for the Yampa River is 7.5 feet.
Source: National weather service
Steamboat Springs — Yampa River water levels were similar Wednesday to what they were Tuesday, but they are on the rise and expected to reach flood stage Monday.
The Yampa's flood stage is 7.5 feet at the Fifth Street Bridge. The river is expected to rise above that level Monday, when a depth of 7.7 feet is forecast for 6 a.m. If it reaches expected depths, the Yampa will reach the third-highest water level ever recorded at the measuring station.
The Elk River is forecast to reach the moderate flood stage of 8.5 feet of water on Monday at the measuring site near Milner. On Monday the river reached 7.5 feet.
Flooding on the southern edge of Steamboat Springs receded slightly, but driveways near the Steamboat Hotel along U.S. Highway 40 still had standing water Wednesday. Snow Country Nursery also was still experiencing flooding.
According to a measuring station at the Fifth Street Bridge, the river stayed at about 6 feet deep during the day Wednesday, similar to what it was Tuesday.
The Yampa is forecast to reach 6.8 feet by 6 a.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. It's expected to be at 7.2 feet at 6 a.m. Friday, 7 feet at 6 a.m. Saturday and 7.3 feet at 6 a.m. Sunday, which is above the 7-foot stage at which the Weather Service will send out flood advisories.
The high water levels are the result of higher temperatures beginning to melt the record snowpack at upper elevations. Temperatures are forecast to remain in the 70s through Sunday, except for Friday, when the forecast calls for a high temperature of 63 degrees.
The Tower measuring site at 10,500 feet on Buffalo Pass on Wednesday was measuring the equivalent of 78.7 inches of water in 173 inches of snow. That's down from the newest state record set Sunday, when 80.1 inches of water was measured in 178 inches of snow.
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