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Lake City escapes peak runoff season without flooding

Hinsdale County avalanche damage
Hinsdale County avalanche damage 2
Posted at 8:36 AM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 10:36:02-04

HINSDALE COUNTY, Colo. — After serious concern about flooding in the wake of a particularly snowy winter and spring, Lake City has reported that peak runoff season has come and gone without flooding.

The Hinsdale County Office of Emergency Management said thanks to “overwhelming assistance” from the state and other partners, the small town didn’t face any significant flooding issues. Thousands of feet of debris was removed from waterways and the Hidden Treasure Dam was modified to decrease the potential for log jams and backup. That, paired with a slow spring runoff and cool temperatures, helped to keep water levels manageable.

However, snowpack in the backcountry is still melting and the start of monsoon season may bring heavy rains. Lake City and Hinsdale County will keep sandbags in place until the threat of high water has passed.

READ MORE: Lake City prepares for possible flooding amid above-average snowpack

Staff with the Hinsdale County Road and Bridge Department are currently working to reopen all roads, particularly the Alpine Loop, which connects Lake City to Ouray, Telluride, Ophir and Silverton.

The Hinsdale County Office of Emergency Management is asking people traveling in the backcountry to be cautious of avalanche debris, high rivers, snow bridges and rapidly changing weather.