Big T Colorado up this a.m. - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-25-2014   #1
Loveland, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
Big T Colorado up this a.m.

Hey all,
I don't know if anyone is running the river since it rerouted itself and changed so much during the flood in September. But we are seeing runoff amplified by rain. It's not a lot right now, but it could be tomorrow. Anyway, here's what I sent out early this morning to my Big T e-mail list:

Good morning,

The large rain storm up in Estes Park tonight has created additional rain and snowmelt runoff into Lake Estes. As a result, we shut down the Adams Tunnel (the West Slope diversion for the C-BT) a day earlier than planned so we can take more Big Thompson River runoff water through the Olympus Tunnel . We are now diverting a full 550 cfs of Big Thompson River runoff over to Horsetooth Reservoir.

However, 550 cfs is the maximum capacity of the Olympus Tunnel, so we are sending the rest of the river's runoff inflows on through Olympus Dam to the Big Thompson Canyon. This raised the outflow through the dam by 100 cfs.

Olympus Dam outflow to the canyon is now 300 cfs. Although the gage does not yet reflect the change from 200 to 300 cfs, you can track Oly's outflow at the State's gage webpage: Detail Graph

It is worth noting that other tributaries to the main stem of the Big Thompson River through the canyon have also gone up. The gage below where the North Fork enters the canyon has been up closer to 400 cfs tonight, meaning below the dam, but before the Narrows section, the canyon is picking up an additional 200 cfs--or there-about. This gage can also be tracked on the State's webpage.Detail Graph

Depending on the rain, we might see outflow through Olympus Dam to the canyon go up again today. I think it's reasonable to expect other tributaries to the Big Thompson to also rise some more. I will keep you posted of our changes at the dam.

Buzzers will be interested to know (if you don't know it already): The gage in the canyon I linked to is the temporary gage. As you all know, the flood washed out all gages in the canyon. I don't know what gages are scheduled to be replaced or when. I only know that the gage below our dam was restored and recalibrated immediately and that this gage (by the Cherry Store, I think, above the Narrows) is temporary.


Kara Lamb
Public Information
Eastern Colorado Office
Bureau of Reclamation
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Old 05-25-2014   #2
Arkansas during the off-season Nomadic during the summers! :), Arkansas & Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 950
Thanks Kara...Yep been running it!
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Old 05-25-2014   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 505
So, what's the new Big Thompson like?
Grif for President!
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