Steamboat Springs urges caution, preparedness ahead of spring runoff |

Steamboat Springs urges caution, preparedness ahead of spring runoff

Following significant snow this winter, Steamboat Springs officials warn residents to prepare for rising water levels as snowpack melts and spring runoff begins to flow.

“While peak flows can vary, the Yampa River generally peaks in late May to early June, while other neighboring creeks can peak significantly earlier in the year,” said Scott Slamal, stormwater specialist and engineering inspector. “While it might seem early, residents and construction sites should take precautions now because once the water is flowing, it’ll be too late.”  

According to a news release, major flooding events in the past have occurred as snowmelt combined with spring and early summer rainfall. The highest runoff on record came as heavy rain fell on melting snowpack, the news release said.

With numerous construction projects around the city, the city recommends the following to minimize pollutants entering local waterways:

  • Monitor runoff from sites daily as weather conditions continue to warm and runoff increases.
  • Check all erosion and sediment control measures daily for adequacy. Maintain control measures as needed.
  • Add additional control measures as needed to minimize sediment from leaving sites.
  • Refresh and install new vehicle tracking pads, to reduce mud tracking onto roadways, and sweep or scrape areas in front of sites as needed.
  • Pick up newly exposed trash daily.

The city also recommends residents do the following:

  • Obtain flood insurance, even if a property is located outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area. Be advised that there is typically a 30-day waiting period from when flood insurance is purchased to when it goes into effect.
  • Clear or report drainage ways and creeks clogged with debris.
  • Sign up for Routt County Alerts to receive important emergency notifications.
  • Review FEMA designated floodplain or floodway and Routt County Office of Emergency Management’s High Water Preparedness Info Guide.
  • Follow weather forecasts and take precautions during heavy spring storms.
  • If residents live in a frequently flooded area, keep materials, such as sandbags, plywood and plastic sheeting on hand to help protect property.

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