High water has likely passed | VailDaily.com

High water has likely passed

Cliff Thompson

EAGLE COUNTY – Eagle County’s meltdown is rushing to a conclusion.A trio of snowpack sites representing the water content for the Eagle River are 80 percent melted, according to the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District. Snow provides more than three-quarters of the drinking and irrigation water used here.The flow of the Eagle River at Avon Tuesday was 1,800 cubic feet per second, or about 75 percent of what it was at last week’s peak – which may have been the year’s high point. The flow at Avon is enough water in 24 hours to cover a 5-square-mile area.Gore Creek, which flows down from Vail Pass, was running at 660 cubic feet per-second Tuesday – about a third of what it was flowing last week. The Colorado River at Gypsum is running at 2,400 cubic feet per-second Tuesday – two-thirds of its flow just a week ago.There’s still plenty of water for paddlers in the Teva Mountain Games, which start today in Vail and on Homestake Creek near Red Cliff. Some of the best kayakers and rafters in the nation will be competing.The good news is there was enough moisture in the snowpack to fill a trio of local reservoirs. Eagle Park, east of Camp Hale; Homestake Reservoir south of Red Cliff; and Black Lakes atop Vail Pass are full. Homestake, used largely by the Front Range, provides approximately 1,000 acre-feet of water to the Eagle River Valley.The composite snowpack chart of Fremont Pass east of Camp Hale, Vail Mountain and Copper Mountain shows 12 inches of moisture remains out of the 52 at peak in mid-May.During the drought of 2002, the runoff was completely done by May 20. The drought was worsened by sparse rainfall through June.Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or cthompson@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado

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