Big T (Colo) mid day change!
Just sent this (July 7):
Over the past two hours, we have been slowly increasing releases from Olympus Dam to the lower Big Thompson River. We are making space in the reservoir for rain that is forecast for this afternoon, evening, and tomorrow.
Inflow to Lake Estes has been picking up with the recent rain storms and more is on the way. This morning, inflow to Lake Estes got as high as 290 cfs. So, we have been steadily increasing our release the last two hours. We've been doing it in 20 cfs increments, every half an hour.
By 2:00, we should be releasing 270 cfs from Olympus Dam to the lower Big Thompson River in the canyon.
Normally, this type of increase is not considered too significant. But, we typically make these sorts of operational changes very late at night when few people are out on the river. Also, with the low snow pack and resulting river flow and above average temperatures across the state, we also anticipate people visiting the Big Thompson Canyon might not be expecting an increase in river flow in the middle of the day. So, please feel free to share this information with anyone you know who might be visiting the canyon this weekend.
There is a possibility releases could go as high as 300 cfs. That will be entirely dependent on just how much rain we get and for how long. Folks visiting any river system this weekend should maintain awareness that the forecast weather patterns could quickly change flows.
Have a great (and safe!) weekend,
Eastern Colorado Office
Bureau of Reclamation