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Be Prepared for High Water in Local Creeks and Ditches

May-September is peak season for flooding

Post Date:06/07/2019 11:05 AM

The peak season for creek flooding and flash floods in Longmont and surrounding areas runs from now through September. During this time, the City of Longmont Office of Emergency Management monitors creek levels and conditions in the area with a keen eye and shares that information daily with an internal team made up of staff throughout the City organization.

The cooler weather of the past month provides a good opportunity to remind residents about the dangers of flooding and the importance of being prepared.

“The cooler temperatures we’ve experienced mean more snow remains in the mountains, which could lead to higher runoff than we’ve seen in recent years,” explains Ken Huson, Water Resources Manager for the City of Longmont.

This week, City officials officially closed a segment of the St. Vrain Creek between Boston Avenue and Main Street, due to current flow conditions as well as construction activity pertaining to the Resilient St. Vrain project.

In addition to the creeks that flow through the community--Left Hand and St. Vrain Creeks, Dry Creek No. 1, and Spring Gulches No. 1 and No. 2--the city is home to several ditches used for irrigation and filling reservoirs and lakes around Longmont. Water levels and flow rates in these ditches can fluctuate from day to day. Residents are reminded to be aware of conditions and to be especially cautious with children and pets near the ditches. High, fast-flowing water can lead to injury or drowning in a matter of moments.

Pedestrian underpasses along the City’s greenway trails have been designed to also serve storm drainage functions, including handling overflow from creeks and ditches. Periodic closures due to high water associated with spring runoff or flash floods are a normal part of the greenway function. For public safety, never enter flowing water or an underpass where the gates are closed or standing water is visible.

There are many variables that can interact to cause flooding in Longmont. There is no way to predict how or when the next flood will occur, and flooding will not happen the same way in the future as it did in 2013. Residents are advised to keep an eye on conditions and listen to weather warnings from the National Weather Service. Additionally, location-specific weather alerts are available as part of the Everbridge emergency notification system used by the City of Longmont.

Preparedness Resources

Visit LongmontColorado.gov/flood-info to access live web cameras and current flow rates in creeks and ditches. While there, learn about the risk of flooding on your property, find ways to be prepared, and sign up for Everbridge notifications.

Known underpass closures can be viewed at LongmontColorado.gov/trail-status.

The City’s Office of Emergency Management delivers emergency preparedness presentations to civic organizations and groups. To schedule a presentation, email oem@longmontcolorad.gov or call 303-651-8438.
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