Rivers rise as snowpack melts

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Rivers in western Colorado are beginning to rise as snowpack melts because of warmer temperatures.

Hydrologists say this process is important for the area because most of the Western Slope's water comes from snowmelt, however, it can be a dangerous time of the year to be out on the water.

"It is snowmelt, so it's very cold. They're getting faster so streams are picking up. Be careful out there," said Aldis Strautins, Hydrologist for the National Weather Service.

It's recommended to always have a flotation device, or life jacket, when out on the rivers, especially as the flow really begins to pick up.

"This time of year, the warmer temperatures get people outside and the first place that they want to go is the river. So we see a lot of people getting on the river and typically not prepared for this kind of runoff. We just ask them to be prepared," said Matt Carson, Battalion Chief, Grand Junction Fire Department.

Also, remember the river water was snow not too long ago so it's still cold enough to cause hypothermia.

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