Rivers running dangerously high in Delta County

If you plan to be on any Delta County rivers, first responders say to be careful.
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 5:03 PM MDT
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DELTA COUNTY, Colo. (KJCT) - Delta County officials are urging everyone to exercise extra caution around streams and rivers for the next few weeks.

Rivers are running high and fast as spring snowmelt flows off the mountains, contributing to road closures, sink holes, and flooding. Damage could continue as Colorado’s higher-than-average snowfall continues to melt.

The snow-water equivalent across the western slope was 130 to 140 percent of the median between 1991 and 2020. With the amount of snowpack that remains on the Grand Mesa, the western slope will continue expecting serious water flows for about the next two weeks.

“We’ve been experiencing elevated runoff throughout the county,” said Delta County Emergency Manager Kris Stewart. “That’s causing significant erosion along the banks between Paonia and Hotchkiss, uprooting large Cottonwood trees and other debris that’s in the river,” Stewart continued.

The county say that if you plan to recreate, first responders are encouraging recreators to avoid rafting the north fork of the Gunnison River.