Yampa Valley creeks and rivers on the rise; prepare for high water
While peak flows can vary, the Yampa River generally peaks in late May to early June, while Butcherknife Creek, Burgess Creek, Spring Creek, Soda Creek and Walton Creek can peak significantly earlier in the year. This past week, the Yampa River increased to nearly 700 cfs.
As the river rises, city of Steamboat Springs residents should take these precautionary measures to prevent damages from high water and potential flooding:
• Remove outdoor furniture, firewood, landscape debris and construction materials from the vicinity of the waterway to prevent blockages of culverts and drainages.
• Obtain flood insurance even if the property is located outside of the special flood hazard area. There is typically a 30-day waiting period from when flood insurance is purchased to when it goes into effect.
• Contact Bob Keenan, the city’s floodplain manager, at 970-871-8260 for flood mitigation questions or to understand if a property is within the FEMA-designated floodplain or floodway.
• Review the Routt County Office of Emergency Management’s High Water Preparedness Information Guide for additional guidance.
• Follow weather forecasts and take precautions during heavy spring storms. Rain or snow events, like recently seen across the valley, and warm temperatures can increase the risk of high water and flash floods.
• Keep materials, such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and other materials on hand if living in a frequently flooded area.
The Streets Division will supply sand and sandbags for residential properties that need them on a case-by-case basis. Sandbags will need to be filled and placed by the homeowner. Contact the Streets Division at 970-879-1807 during normal office hours or dispatch at 970-879-1144 after hours to request this service. Commercial properties and residential neighborhoods with frequent needs must acquire their own sandbags. Those experiencing a flooding emergency should call 911.
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