Snow Melt Causes Rise In Arkansas River

By: WTOK Sister Station KKTV
By: WTOK Sister Station KKTV

High, fast moving water is flowing down the Arkansas River. That's prompting a flood warning for the Canon City area.

The Fremont County Emergency Manager Steve Morrisey says there is an advisory in place for outdoor enthusiasts. The water is moving at about eight-miles-per-hour. But that's not the only concern. Big chunks of debris, like tree trunks, are making their way down the water, making it dangerous for water rafters.

A flood warning will stay in place until further notice.

Minor flooding in the low lying areas are possible.

Gushing waves are also expected to do some damage especially if Canon City gets a big rainstorm this week.

But the gauge that measures the water in the Arkansas River isn't completely accurate according to Morrisey. "It gives a false reading. We aren't seeing nine-feet of water, we are seeing about five-feet out here," said Morrisey.

But he says, that doesn't mean we are out of the water. Right now, according to that gage, the Arkansas River is at about nine-feet and could crest at nine-and-a-half-feet by Thursday.

It's a level Canon City sees only once every three-years.

"Any evacuations or any chance of flooding, our dispatch centers have been set up to do a reverse 911," said Morrisey.

Experts say stock up on sand bags and be prepared for the worst just in case.

You can get free sand bags at the Canon City Public Works Office. The first 10 bags are free, then 45-cents each after that.

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