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Public cautioned to avoid the Arkansas River due to surging water, say officials

Posted at 2:45 PM, Jun 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-15 19:34:55-04

PUEBLO, CO — Colorado Parks and Wildlife and its partner agencies are urging the public to avoid the Arkansas River.

Because of the severe weather, we have been experiencing the past few weeks, the portion of the river that flows below the Lake Pueblo State Park dam is seeing currents that are fluctuating dramatically, the CPW says.

“We urge everyone to stay out of the river until the flows calm down,” said Joe Stadterman, CPW’s Park Manager at Lake Pueblo. “And anyone fishing along the banks should wear life jackets. This is an especially important time to be safe around the river.”

Rain is not the only factor affecting the river's flow.

Around this time of year, spring runoff from snow melt coming from the high mountains brings extremely cold water into the dam. Add to that the heavy rains, and you get more than 10 times the normal discharge rate.

According to the CPW, the dam is releasing water at a rate of about 3,365 cfs, instead of the usual 200 cfs or less. This translates to 7.5 gallons of discharge per second.

The partner agencies expect the river advisory to remain in place for at least a week.

At the same time, Pueblo officials are discussing creating a master plan to refresh the
areas around the river. Find out more here.
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