Flood advisory issued for northeastern Grand County | SkyHiNews.com

Flood advisory issued for northeastern Grand County

Vasquez Creek behind Volario’s in downtown Winter Park crested its stream banks Tuesday evening as federal officials issued a flood advisory for the Grand Lake area.
McKenna Harford / mharford@skyhinews.com

Weather forecasts for Grand County this week call for mostly clear skies and a minimal chance of rainfall but despite those seemingly idyllic conditions federal officials have issued a flood advisory for portions of Middle Park.

Tuesday afternoon, shortly before 1 p.m., officials from the National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for northeastern Grand County due to concerns about the impacts of snowmelt, following heavy snowfall that fell in the region during the first days of summer.

“Snowmelt is causing the Colorado River in Rocky Mountain National Park to overflow its banks,” stated federal weather forecasters. “Minor flooding will continue over rural areas along headwaters of the Colorado River in extreme northeast Grand County.”

Officials from the National Weather Service noted that a flood advisory means “river or stream flows are elevated or is imminent.” The flood advisory is set to remain in effect until 1:15 p.m. Saturday.

Despite the flood advisory for northeastern Grand County weather forecasts for Middle Park next week looking conducive to a holiday weekend. Skies are expected to be sunny with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms developing after noon as temperatures climb as high as 78 degrees. Conditions will be mostly clear Wednesday night with a low of 42.

Independence Day is expected to be sunny with a high near 78 degrees and light winds from the southwest gusting up to 22 mph. There is a 10 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms developing. The sunny weather should continue on into Friday with a 30 percent chance of rain showers or afternoon thunderstorms.

Officials from Rocky Mountain National Park noted that a county road leading from Grand Lake to two Park trailheads was heavily impacted by high water, but remained open to traffic.

 “County Road 633 leading to the North Inlet Trailhead and Tonahutu Trailhead from West Portal Road is washed out and not recommended to two-wheel drive vehicles at this time,” Kyle Patterson, spokesperson for Rocky, stated.
Patterson confirmed that County Road 633 was not closed, as of 3 p.m. on Wednesday. According to Patterson Park officials have closed a small parking lot near the Continental Divide Trailhead, often referred to as the Inholders Parking Lot, due to flooding.

 “No trails are closed,” Patterson, spokesperson for the Park, stated. “Trails like Bowen/Baker Trail are very wet though.”

While the flood advisory issued by the National Weather Service was specifically for northeastern Grand County and the Grand Lake area other waterways in Grand County were also seeing rising water levels. Vasquez Creek was cresting its stream banks in downtown Winter Park Tuesday night and the Fraser River also experienced heightened water levels.

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