The Yampa River had not reached flood stage as of Wednesday morning.

Photo by Matt Stensland

The Yampa River had not reached flood stage as of Wednesday morning.

Yampa River steadies around Steamboat, forecast to rise


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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.

  1. 8.90 feet, June 8, 1905
  2. 8.90 feet, June 13, 1906
  3. 7.65 feet, June 3, 1997
  4. 7.50 feet, May 25, 1904
  5. 7.44 feet, June 1, 2003
  6. 7.12 feet, May 25, 1984
  7. 6.96 feet, April 26, 1974
  8. 6.89 feet, May 17, 1996
  9. 6.83 feet, June 4, 1952
  10. 6.82 feet, May 29, 2000
  11. 6.72 feet, June 7, 2010
  12. 6.64 feet, June 14, 1921
  13. 6.63 feet, June 16, 1995
  14. 6.53 feet, June 7, 1957
  15. 6.51 feet, June 25, 1983
  16. 6.40 feet, May 23, 2006
  17. 6.34 feet, June 4, 2008
  18. 6.33 feet, June 17, 1993
  19. 6.20 feet, June 7, 1991
  20. 6.16 feet, June 16, 1978

Source: National weather service

— 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.


Yampa River on June 1, 2011

High water, spring 2011

View High water, spring 2011 in a larger map


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