Flood warning expires
April 11, 2006
The town of Hayden was mostly spared by the rising waters of Dry Creek last week, but minor flooding is expected to move east through Routt County as the Yampa and Elk rivers and their tributaries continue to swell with snowmelt.
A flood warning for Dry Creek in Hayden was canceled Monday evening.
Dry Creek flows into Hayden from the southeast, passes through the Routt County Fairgrounds and passes through the western edge of town before draining into the Yampa River.
Town, county and state officials monitored Dry Creek’s level last week after water spilled over the creek’s banks and flooded part of the fairgrounds and Dry Creek Park on April 5. Damage was minimal, but Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin said it would help officials plan for expansion of the park.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction forecast rising waters this week on the Yampa and its tributaries. The Elk River and Elkhead Creek also are expected to experience high water this week. None are expected to exceed flood stage, but minor flooding in lowland areas is likely.
“Water is coming up higher as you move east, and that is a very natural thing,” said Chuck Vale, Routt County’s director of emergency management.
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The Yampa’s streamflow in downtown Steamboat Springs is above its historical average for this time of year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. On Tuesday afternoon, the flow was measured at about 815 cubic feet per second. The historic average for the date is 506 cubic feet per second.
Rising temperatures have resulted in low-elevation snowmelt, causing water levels in Dry Creek, the Yampa and other local waterways to rise.
The National Weather Ser–vice forecast cooler weather this week, which should slow melting snowpacks. The snowpack in the Yampa River Basin is at 112 percent of its average. The cool down will be brief, with temperatures in the 70s expected at the end of the week.