Water levels

River levels in the Roaring Fork watershed are double their normal flows for this time of year. Expect greater water volumes as reservoirs reach capacity.

A flood advisory has been issued for all major rivers in the Roaring Fork watershed by the National Weather Service. The advisory is in effect until further notice. 

According to a report issued Wednesday by the Roaring Fork Conservancy, the rivers in this watershed are currently flowing at more than twice the average for this time of year.

On Monday, the Roaring Fork River at Glenwood Springs hit 9,030 cubic feet per second, which is the biggest peak of 2019, according to RFC’s report. While flows have declined slightly since July 1, they are expected to surge over the next week, the report continued.

The Fryingpan River below Ruedi Reservoir was measured at 950 cfs on Wednesday, according to the RFC. 

Basalt Police Chief Greg Knott said in his six years at the helm, he’s seen the Fryingpan River hit 950 cfs just one other time, which was in 2016.

Both Ruedi and Twin Lakes reservoir are expected to fill to capacity in the coming days.

“These elevated flows will cause the Fryingpan River to remain above bankfull levels,” according to the NWS. “Minor lowland flooding can be expected along the river.”

Knott said there’s already been some minor flooding seen in the Roaring Fork Mobile Home Park in Basalt. 

Earlier this week, Pitkin County announced that storage in Twin Lakes is expected to fill by the Fourth of July and that diversions to the Eastern Slope will cease. That will cause higher flows in the Roaring Fork River and the possibility that the river will again overtop its banks in North Star Nature Preserve, which would be much to the delight of local paddlers.

The July 3 report from RFC showed the Roaring Fork River in Aspen at 747 cfs and at a whopping 4,370 cfs in Basalt below the confluence with the Fryingpan River.