Robert’s Tunnel opened as high waters invade Summit County
summit daily news
SUMMIT COUNTY – Flooding is possible in local land near rivers as stream flows continue to blast near peak levels.
Robert’s Tunnel was recently opened, pulling some of the water pressure from Dillon Reservoir down to the Denver area.
Bob Steger, manager of Denver Water’s raw water supply, said Denver Water only runs the tunnel when the Eastern Slope needs water.
“It just so happens they needed it at the time of flooding” conditions, he said.
He said Tuesday that the tunnel may only be needed for a “couple days” longer.
The outflow into the Blue River below Dillon Dam last year peaked at 1,766 cubic feet per second; this year it’s broken 1,800 cfs, and Steger said it’s tough to tell whether the flows have peaked until “at least a couple weeks after.”
“Our goal always has been to keep the peak outflow less than 1,800,” he said, adding that the river could certainly handle more water before causing flood conditions.
Local daytime temperatures are expected to remain warm – in the mid-70s until Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
The reservoir continues to maintain a water level about 2 feet above the spillway, with water gushing through the glory hole.
The Blue River below Dillon Reservoir on Tuesday evening was running 1,610 cfs at a 3.43 foot gauge height.
Steger said that Monday the inflow from waters feeding into the reservoir were up to 1,987 cfs. On Sunday the number reached 2,086 cfs.
Frisco town clerk Deborah Wohlmuth said in an e-mail that river water rose above the banks on Hawn Drive near Meadow Creek Park last weekend.
“Staff believes that water levels have already peaked, but are monitoring all streams at this time,” she said.
Sandbags are available in local towns. In Frisco, the first 100 bags are free; after that, it’s $50 for the next 100.
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