Lake Granby could fill and spill this year |

Lake Granby could fill and spill this year

As Lake Granby continues to fill with runoff from the snowpack, there is still plenty of snow at higher elevations that could possibly fill the reservoir to capacity this year.
Byron Hetzler/ | Sky-Hi News

There’s a 50 percent chance that Lake Granby could fill and spill this year, officials are saying.

The Alva B. Adams tunnel, which diverts water from Lake Granby to east slope reservoirs, was shut down on Monday, May 26, for routine maintenance to a fiber optic cable, said Kara Lamb of the Bureau of Reclamation

The lake has been rising about a foot per day since the Bureau of Reclamation began to curtail flows through the tunnel on Friday, May 23. It’s currently 66.5 percent full.

Horsetooth and Carter reservoirs are also at or near capacity, Lamb said.

This year has seen a high accumulation of snowpack in the mountains above Grand County.

With accelerating snowmelt and less diversion because of full reservoirs on the Front Range, Lamb said there was a good chance Lake Granby could fill and spill this year.

While the Adams Tunnel is closed, the Bureau of Reclamation had also planned to clear some stretches of the canal that feeds Horsetooth Reservoir of sediment, though those plans were cancelled.

Currently, Lamb said tunnel is tentatively scheduled to reopen sometime during the weekend of May 30.

The Bureau of Reclamation, which had been diverting water below Lake Estes since Thursday due to free river conditions, began diverting water back into the Big Thompson Canyon Monday, May 26, because it no longer had the capacity to divert.

Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.

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