Drenching rain brings tubing bans to many popular streams and creeks

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DENVER -- Days and days of rain and warming temperatures means local creeks and rivers are at peak levels. Several counties are restricting activities until the water recedes. That means some creeks and rivers have a tubing ban in place.

Friday in Lyons signs went up along the St. Vrain creeks and river, notifying the public of the danger and alerting people that inter-tubing is currently prohibited.

Sgt. Dave Booton of Boulder County Emergency Services said, “Really its for their personal safety.  We want everyone to enjoy the water and stuff and if it goes bad then nobody’s really enjoying it.”

The closure includes watercraft such as single chamber rafts, single chamber belly boats, and inner tubes from floating in the creek. There is a specific exemption for kayaks and white water canoes, which are permitted; nonetheless, kayakers are strongly encouraged to observe caution. Violations of the closure are a class 2 petty offense and will result in a $50.00 fine.

The recent severe weather storms and the melting of the snow pack are adding significantly to the amount of water flowing in the St. Vrain River and the creeks. As of today, the Saint Vrain River was flowing at approximately 1320 cfs, significantly above the 1200 cfs volume at which Emergency Services initiates closure.

In Boulder, the Boulder Creek is nearing the level in which Emergency Services will initiate closure, but the creek remains open.  Despite that rental companies in the area are choosing not to rent inter-tubes until the water level drops.

Jackson Crow with Boulder’s Whitewater Tube Company said, “Legally it is open but for liability reasons we are not actually letting anyone go.”

“Just because its so dangerous that if you go out there you are going to fall off a bunch and get hit with rocks.  Its water, powerful water,” he added.

The tubing ban could remain in place for several weeks.

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