Floods, swollen rivers, road closures — Colorado’s spring runoff season is in full swing, and much of the snow in the state’s mountains hasn’t melted yet.
Colorado saw higher-than-average snowfall build up on the Western Slope this year, a boon for irrigators and other water users who rely on the Colorado River Basin which spans Colorado, tribal lands, six Western states, and parts of Mexico. But the snowmelt, with the help of recent weather, is leading to high runoff, and its adverse impacts are popping up around the state like a game of whack-a-mole.
Beyond monitoring for mudslides and rockfalls loosened by rain and high runoff, the Colorado Department of Transportation is also watching bridges and roads for possible closures.
On the Front Range and Eastern Plains, 10 days of rain in May helped with the state’s continuing recovery from drought over the past year. The amount of the state experiencing drought conditions has dropped from 93% a year ago to just 11% today.