Rain, above-average snowpack could lead to dangerous spring runoff season

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GOLDEN, Colo. — The rain expected later this week could create hazardous conditions along the Front Range.

It comes as swift-water rescue teams already are preparing for what could be a busy spring runoff season.

The snowpack in the high country is peaking at about 129 percent of average.

Large amounts of snow melting too fast can lead to hazardous conditions in streams in the high country and along the Front Range.

Denver Water is hoping Dillon Reservoir in Summit County will be able to handle a lot of that runoff.

“The concern is once the reservoir is full and there’s extended runoff or heavy rain, all of the water that comes into the reservoir will go out to the spillway and into the Blue River,” said Nathan Elder with Denver Water.

“During the runoff season, we know it’s a critical time of year so we keep local officials informed of snowpack condition, the reservoir elevations because in the end of the day, the important thing is keeping people safe.”

Dillon Reservoir is currently at about 70 percent capacity.

Typically, the reservoir sits at about 85 percent so there should be additional space to handle excess runoff this year.

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