Higher River Levels Possible
As snowpack rapidly melts and rain is forecasted, residents in low-lying areas should be vigilant in watching for rapid rises in river levels, changes in the river channel and potential blockages. In preparation for runoff, the Town of Estes Park has helped to prepare private properties that were identified as extremely vulnerable, but it is not otherwise able to help prepare private properties – that is the responsibility of property owners. The Town’s resources must be focused on monitoring the runoff, responding to public safety needs, and managing public property. It is every citizen’s responsibility to consider how risks on his or her property affect neighbors, as well.
Call the Estes Park Police Department at 970-586-4000 to report any of the following issues:
o Threatened infrastructure, including the temporary sewer.
o Significant debris/trees falling and blocking river flows; never remove by yourself in high water.
o Movement of stream channels and streams flowing out of their banks.
o Do not report normal rises in water level, which are to be expected during runoff.
o Always call 9-1-1 in a life safety emergency.
o Low-lying areas on Fish Creek Road, East Riverside Drive and West Elkhorn Avenue may be the first areas to see issues.
Prepare before the water rises too high. Do not risk your own safety around swift-flowing water.
Prevent or reduce flood water damage to structures using sand bags or hydro barriers.
o Place bags next to buildings to divert water or to stabilize banks, never in the river channels.
o Never place bags in such a way that flow could be restricted in the channel, which can cause backwatering and bigger problems. Give the river room to grow into areas like yards, roads and parking lots.
o Never place sand bags around a sewer manhole, as this can lead to infiltration by rain.
o Local hardware and lumber stores sell sand bags and hydro barriers. Free sand bags are available at 1754 Fish Hatchery Road while supplies last –take only what you need.
Sump pumps must be discharged back into the ground or storm drain — never down the drain into sewer.
When safe, ensure privately-owned culverts are clear of debris and large enough to accommodate peak flows.
Stabilize undercut and unstable river banks and reduce blockage potential.
o Floodplain work requires a permit (free of charge through runoff). In town limits, call 970-577-3726; in Larimer County, call 970-498-5703. Mitigation advice is available during the permit process.
Volunteer assistance for residents who are unable to place their own bags or remove restrictive debris is available through the Estes Valley Long-Term Recovery Group at 970-586-5051.
Sign up for enhanced emergency notifications at www.LETA911.org.
Officials are monitoring runoff and its effects around-the-clock, and will take necessary actions to protect infrastructure and public safety. When possible and necessary, diversion structures may be placed on public property to guide the river back to its channel.