South Platte closure - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-17-2015   #1
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 161
South Platte closure

Do they have the authority to do that?

Jeffco and Dougco Sheriff's Offices CLOSE South Platte River!

Roads open to local traffic only. Please share this information!

Out of an abundance of caution, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office have closed the South Platte River and the North Fork of the South Platte River from the Jefferson / Park County line to Chatfield Reservoir until further notice.

The river is closed to all recreational use, including tubing, rafting, kayaking, fishing and swimming. Due to recent rains and winter melt/runoff in the high country, the South Platte River water levels are high and continuing to increase.

Road closures in Jefferson County are open to local traffic only and include:
*West Platte River Road from Buffalo Creek to Foxton Road
*South West Platte River Road from Foxton Road to West Pine Creek Road
*South Platte River Road from West Pine Creek Road to Deckers

Road closures in Douglas County are open to local traffic only and include:
*Hwy 67 @ Deckers
*Hwy 67 @ Spruce Wood

Law enforcement and emergency personnel are asking people to stay away from shorelines with fast moving water because of the dangers associated with the higher water levels and localized flooding. Recent emergencies have included people, pets and cars being swept away.

In the event of flooding:
• Move to higher ground.
• Have a plan in the event of rising water.
• Be aware that roads in the area may close without notice.

At this time we cannot predict how long this closure will be in effect, but we anticipate it to be for an extended
period of time. ‪#‎COWX‬

(This photo was taken this afternoon at the Bridge at Trumbull)

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Old 06-17-2015   #2
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pine, Colorado
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Posts: 186
Thanks for posting. Just got done getting raft ready for after work run on the chutes tomorrow. bummer. Glad to know now though. Thanks Robanna thanks mountainbuzz
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Old 06-17-2015   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,387
You can understand their concern,but why no exceptions for kayaks and rafts with proper equiptment as on other rivers running high? Foxton at 1000-1200 is rare but not that hard by kayaking standards.There is a photo in a guidebook of someone running Supermax at 1100 (maybe about to swim).People just ran Waterton at 4000+.Just closing the runs ,especially "Deckers" to tubing and K Mart rafts seems more reasonable.The possibility of road flooding along the river ,and roads like the one from Sprucewood being impassable may justify it from a safety rescue response issue standpoint.Maybe CWA or American Whitewater can/ will get them to open it to qualified river runners sooner rather than later ,per the standards set in other jurisdictions.
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Old 06-17-2015   #4
Divide, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 38
We heard on 850 KOA, 2 days ago, closure of 11- Mile Canyon campgrounds, due to flooding from a big release. Balancing the water in the dams, so I'm told.
So, it may have to do with this release, and campgrounds being flooded, etc.
The sheriff & emergency responders don't want to take chances with a lot of ya-hoos camping on high water rivers...
Yes, they can do anything they want...
jill tip
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Old 06-17-2015   #5
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Colorado Springs, CO, Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 33
Ask the Jefferson County Attorney to advise the Sheriff @ (303) 271-8900 or ask the Sheriff to reconsider @ 303-277-0211.

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Old 06-17-2015   #6
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 123
As far as I am aware, they can't close the rivers to kayaks/rafts. I think that's federal law? Am I incorrect?

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Old 06-18-2015   #7
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 234
I'm sure I've read somewhere that there are only 3 reasons a river can be closed to kayakers:

1. If it's declared a natural disaster area (like the floods in Sept 2013)
2. If construction is in progress and poses a danger to boaters (like construction going on of the tunnel on I-70)
3. If there's a rescue in progress, and boaters would complicate/impede the rescue.

That's all from memory, so I'm sure I'm off a bit on the particulars. I googled a bit looking for a source and couldn't find one, so maybe that's all bunk anyway?

Someone mentioned canceling a run on "chutes" which I assume is Union Chutes? The way I read it, union chutes wouldn't be affected since it's downstream of Chatfield. I was there on Monday, and it was pretty mellow.
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Old 06-18-2015   #8
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 234
Found it:
LexisNexis® Custom Solution: Colorado Revised Statutes Research Tool

I'm not a lawyer, but it sounds like they're overstepping their authority to me.
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Old 06-18-2015   #9
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 286
This is a bummer. While it may or may not be legal to close down the river. They can close the road which will make the shuttle extremely difficult. Look back a couple years ago when they closed Clear Creek canyon. Back then we were having to run from Kermits to Golden because there was no way to access BR or Lower Clear.
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Old 06-18-2015   #10
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 83
We were just there Sunday, I don't think it is a river safety issue as much as a road issue. The road is being washed out on several corners and as the water is expected to rise even more, could be a disaster for someone dropping the car off the edge. Would also be hard for rescue vehicles to get help thru if road gets worst.
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