Western slope prepares for flood | SummitDaily.com

Western slope prepares for flood

PAONIA – With near-record temperatures melting the state’s deep snowpack, minor flooding was reported in several Western Slope communities.Grand Junction hit a record 94 degrees on Friday. Temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s were forecast for the weekend, melting the snowpack and swelling streams.The heat also increased the risk of avalanches in the High Country. A skier was killed by an avalanche Friday at Arapahoe Basin and another skier seriously injured on Buffalo Mountain on Wednesday.The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Vallecito Creek and its tributaries in La Plata County. Some flooding of residential areas north of Vallecito Reservoir is expected.The Weather Service also issued a flood advisory for Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache counties.Meanwhile, Minnesota Creek began overflowing into local parks in Paonia on Friday, said Delta County emergency manager Rob Fiedler.In Cedaredge, Surface Creek flooded onto local roads and could put some homes in danger, Fiedler said. He said that many waterways are clogged with debris because the county hasn’t experienced major flooding since 1994. Residents were placing sandbags around head gates and irrigation councils.Even with the melting, the state’s snowpack was 106 percent of the 30-year average on Saturday. And it was 339 percent of the snowpack on the same date last year.

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