Colorado

Jun 8, 2010 7:35 PM by Greg Boyce

Snow melts, water rises in Colorado rivers

Coloradans are keeping a nervous eye on rising rivers as a late spring heat wave melts snow quickly, swelling waterways, wiping out bridges and flooding some homes.

The high water has prompted some rafting companies to halt guided trips. In Estes Park, some 500 sandbags were handed out Monday to hold back the rising Big Thompson River.  High waters were blamed for the weekend death of 48-year-old William Spang of Aspen, who drowned when his raft capsized in the swollen Eagle River. Temperatures across the region were expected to cool somewhat Tuesday. But officials worried about a chance of afternoon thunderstorms, which would worsen the flooding.

In southern Colorado, the Arkansas River set a record in Parkdale, just above the Royal Gorge with 4,920 cubic feet per second.  That breaks a record for June 7 set in 1948.  Tuesday, it reached 5,070 cfs at 10:45 a.m.

Walking trails and picnic areas are flooded in Canon City along the Arkansas.

The Colorado Division of Water Resources tracks river flows around the state.

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