Silverthorne police watch lower Blue River water levels for boater safety |

Silverthorne police watch lower Blue River water levels for boater safety

As Denver Water increased Dillon Reservoir outflows this week, Silverthorne police are keeping a close eye on rising waters.

The lower Blue River, which runs through the center of the town, is currently churning at 1,500 cubic feet per second. Silverthorne Police Chief Mark Hanschmidt said that if water levels rose by an additional 300 to 500 cfs, police would look to close a stretch of the river between the dam and Sixth Street Bridge for the safety of boaters.

“As Denver Water increases the outflow of the reservoir, the headroom at the bridge on Highway 9 decreases. It’s the same with the Sixth Street Bridge,” Hanschmidt said. “I don’t want to see anyone getting hurt.”

If water levels rise, the stretch of river would be closed to all boats, rafts and canoes. Kayaks may be allowed as they sit lower in the water but are still cautioned in maneuvering the speedy rapids. If flow levels are too high, Silverthorne police will post signs and send out a public announcement to notify residents of the conditions.

Hanschmidt said that Straight Creek, another source that feeds Blue River, was flowing at a relatively slow rate this morning. However, he said police would watch outflow levels from Dillon Reservoir for future closures.

“We’re keeping close tabs on it. As soon as the water level increases on the outflow, we’ll take another look at it,” Hanschmidt said. “Right now, everything is still open; we just want people to pay attention and use caution.”

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