Colorado River hazardous due to heavy snowmelt

Heavy snowpack is rapidly trending towards heavy snowmelt
Heavy snowpack is rapidly trending towards heavy snowmelt(KKCO)
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 2:47 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Colorado River is an critical part of life in the west, enabling agriculture, human settlement, and tourism to an area that would be in critical danger without it. It can also be dangerous, deadly, and often unpredictable.

With record snowmelt cascading down the mountains into the headwaters of the Colorado River, the City of Grand Junction has posted a red flag for anyone wanting to recreate in riverside areas. The city is reminding recreation enthusiasts and citizens of the valley to use abundant caution when in, on, or near the river.

The River Park at Las Colonias is particularly risky, and the city says that you should only be using the park if you are an expert with appropriate equipment, and even then to use extreme caution.

Even prisons in the area have been impacted, with the Delta Correctional Facility also reporting flooding. It’s not clear if the facility is undergoing a full or partial evacuation, but staff confirmed that all but one entrance is not usable and inmates are being moved for safety reasons.

Tubing the river may have to wait until later in the season, as the city says anything that is not appropriate and safe for use in whitewater should not be on the river right now.

The flags, as well as free life jackets, are located on the eastern side of the Las Colonias near the boat ramp, and on the west side behind the amphitheater.