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National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Colorado Snow Survey and Water Supply News Release indicated that snowpack in the Yampa Basin is at 90% of average, as of April 11th, 2016. While peak flows can vary, the Yampa River generally peaks in late May to early June while smaller tributaries, such as Butcherknife Creek, Burgess Creek, and, Spring Creek can peak significantly earlier in the year. In fact, Butcherknife Creek and other low-lying areas may be entering into their peak runoff at this time. Therefore, the City is asking residents to take precautionary measures now to prevent damages from high water and flooding:
• Remove outdoor furniture, firewood, landscape debris, branches that may have fallen during the winter season, construction materials, etc. from the vicinity of the waterway to prevent blockages of culverts and drainages • If you are within the city limits, find out if your property is within the FEMA designated floodplain or floodway by following this link: http://maps.steamboatsprings.net/Interactivemap/index.html or contacting 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. (see below for link)• Follow weather forecasts and take additional precautions during heavy spring storms. Rain or snow events 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 City Streets Department will deliver sand and sandbags for residential properties that need them on a case by case basis. The sand bags will then need to be filled and placed by the homeowner. Call the Streets Department at 970-879-1807 during normal office hours, or dispatch at 970-879-1144 after hours to request this service. If it is a flooding emergency, call 911. Commercial properties and residential neighborhoods with frequent needs will need to acquire their own sandbags.