Big Thompson TODAY - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-07-2010   #1
 
Loveland, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
Big Thompson TODAY

All,
As you have probably already noticed, we are releasing 924 cfs from Olympus Dam to the Lower Big Thompson. We increased our releases late last night/early this morning around 3 a.m.



It has been a busy weekend as we are seeing the Big Thompson River hit its annual spring peak from snow melt run-off. The heat we have been receiving melts the snow in the high elevations during the day. Travel times deliver that run-off to the Big Thompson River at night.



We will continue the 924 cfs release through the morning, with a possible increase later this afternoon to 980 cfs. It is likely we will see this level of release from Olympus Dam through tonight and into tomorrow. When the snowmelt run-off starts to drop off, we will see our releases drop down as well.



Please feel free to call or e-mail me with any related questions.



Best,
Kara



Kara Lamb
Public Information
Bureau of Reclamation
Eastern Colorado Area Office
(970) 962-4326

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Old 06-07-2010   #2
suigeneris
 
loveland, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 337
Fall River

Thanks again Kara for the info, have not seen this flow in eight years. Has it ever been this big(besides 1976 flood)?

Also, any chance you know what the Fall River is flowing at? Is that also a big contributer to flooding in Estes Park? If anyone is looking for something new and different the Fall River on north side is most likely doable now. I've been curious who has run this. It looks to be class III intermediate fun creeking!
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Old 06-07-2010   #3
 
Ft. Collins, Colorado
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Kara,

What is the maximum flow for the Pole Hill tunnel that diverts water from the Big Thompson Canyon to the Flatiron powerplant at lake estes?

The reason I ask is: Assuming lake estes is full if we take the flow from the big thompson above lake estes and subtract the amount that can be taken out via the tunnels leading to Flatiron powerplant we should get a reliable estimate of flow in the canyon and be able to tell when there might be too much water for the tunnels to handle and when you might be forced to send water down the canyon.

Is this the best gauge for water coming into lake estes?:
USGS Real-Time Water Data for USGS 402114105350101 BIG THOMPSON BL MORAINE PARK NR ESTES PARK, CO
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Old 06-07-2010   #4
 
Loveland, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
Afox,
We are maximizing our diversion out of Lake Estes via the Olympus Tunnel. It is running at 550 cfs. Water through the Oly Tunnel goes to the Pole Hill Power Plant, Pinewood Reservoir, the Flatiron Power plant. Some of it is being pumped up to Carter Lake. More of it travels north to the Big Thompson Power Plant, where it re-enters the Big Thompson river at the canyon mouth (by the Dam Store). The remainder continues north to Horsetooth.

There is a gage below Olympus Dam on Lake Estes that should give a fairly reliable read on the river down to Idlewilde (or however that small reservoir is spelled). At Idlewilde, the City of Loveland takes water out to generate hydro-electricity at their hydro unit down at VS-Park.

We have another diversion just at the top of the Narrows at Dille Dam. That water goes through the cliffside into the Charles Hansen Feeder Canal right above The Dam Store. We run that through the Big Thompson Power Plant during run off season for some additional power generation. The water goes back into the river there at the discharge from the plant by The Dam Store.

I hope that helps explain why you see some fluctuation in the flows coming down the Big T. Let me know if you have other questions.

Best,
Kara
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Old 06-07-2010   #5
 
Loveland, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
Sent this out an hour ago. Sorry to get it to you guys later. Things are very busy today!

All,
At this time (3 p.m., June 7), we are increasing our releases from the Olympus Dam to the Lower Big Thompson again. We are going up approximately 130 cfs from 921 to 1050 cfs.

The 1050 cfs release is anticipated to remain through the afternoon and night and potentially into tomorrow. However, there remains a possibility that we could bump up releases again tonight, depending on the inflows coming into Lake Estes.

Some might also notice that we have done a gate change. We are now releasing from all five gates instead of just one. This provides some additional operational flexibility for us.

Be careful out there!

Best,
Kara
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Old 06-07-2010   #6
 
Ft. Collins, Colorado
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Kara, is 550 the max that can be sent thru the olympus tunnel?

I know what gauges to use for canyon flows. I am interested in subtracting the max olympus tunnel flows from estes lake inflows to forecast when it will be necessary for the BoR to send additional water down the canyon.
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Old 06-08-2010   #7
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Big T is stomping right now. Ran it this evening. Its huge, powerful, continuous, and pushy. We did it at 750 on sat, and I thought it was big but still manageable. Today at 1050 it was significantly bigger. Rowdy bordering on scary. Proceed with caution.

Saw a mangled boat along the highway. Might have been an orange burn.

AFOX... 550 is the max the tunnel can take out. You can look at inflow into lake estes on the big thompson above lake estes gauge on the dwr website. The difference between inflow and tunnel output will be what is getting passed into the big T. There is also a gauge for olympus tunnel, which shows what they are running throught the tunnel.

Heres the big T above lake estes link..

Detail Graph
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Old 06-08-2010   #8
 
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Loveland police dept called me and said the fire dept had gotten my boat. It came loose from the high water. I went and picked it up and it is indeed mangled. Driving back out I noticed that at 20 mph I was even with the current. That shit is cranking. Glad y'all had a succesful run.
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Old 06-08-2010   #9
 
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deepstroke, did you call the FD when you lost your boat? Try to do so whenever possible so nobody's trying to do an unnecessary body recovery.
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Old 06-08-2010   #10
 
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No, but you're right, I should have given them a heads up. They did ask me if I knew anything about a white kayak seen in the river. I guess I wasn't the only victim.
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