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The original item was published from 5/4/2020 10:22:38 AM to 6/1/2020 12:00:03 AM.

News Flash

City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: May 4, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Yampa Valley Creeks & Rivers on the Rise

High Water Sandbags NewsFlash

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-May 4, 2020-While peak flows can vary, the Yampa River has risen nearly 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the past week and smaller tributaries are also swelling to much higher levels. Typically, the Yampa River generally peaks in late May to early June, while Butcherknife Creek, Burgess Creek and Spring Creek can peak significantly earlier in the year. 

In fact, some local creeks and other low-lying areas may be entering their peak runoff period or experiencing higher flows at this time. Therefore, residents should take precautionary measures now to prevent damages from high water and potential flooding. See the following:

  • Remove outdoor furniture, firewood, landscape debris, construction materials, etc. from the vicinity of the waterway to prevent blockages of culverts and drainages.
  • It is recommended that you obtain flood insurance even if your property is located outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area.  Please be advised that there is typically a 30-day waiting period from when flood insurance is purchased to when it goes into effect.
  • If within the city limits, understand if your property is within the FEMA designated floodplain or floodway or you can contact Bob Keenan, the city’s floodplain manager, at 970.871.8260. 
  • Review the Routt County Office of Emergency Management’s High Water Preparedness Information Guide for additional guidance.
  • Follow weather forecasts and take precautions during heavy spring storms. Rain or snow events, like recently seen across the valley, and warm temperatures can increase the risk of high water and flash floods.
  • If you live in a frequently flooded area, keep materials, such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and other materials on hand to help protect your property.

The Streets Division will supply sand and sandbags for residential properties that need them on a case by case basis. Sand bags will need to be filled and placed by the homeowner. Contact the Streets Division at 970.879.1807 during normal office hours, or dispatch at 970.879.1144 after hours to request this service. Commercial properties and residential neighborhoods with frequent needs must acquire their own sandbags. If you are experiencing a flooding emergency, call 9-1-1.

The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Streamflow Information Program operates a monitoring site on the Yampa River at the 5th Street Bridge.  This station tracks water temperature, discharge and gage height among other data. In addition, visit the city’s Floodplain Management webpage for additional information, resources and programs.


Tom Martindale, Streets Supervisor, 970.871.1807 or email
Bob Keenan, Senior Planner & Floodplain Manager, 970.871.8260 or email

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