UPDATE: Colorado River crests at 14.93′ *just* below flood stage


UPDATE: The river crested at a maximum recorded height of 14.93″ at 12:15 a.m. this morning, June 2, 2021. It is receding at the rate of .16 feet per hour at the time of this update. Another update will provided as more data is gathered about the results of the flow into the Spence reservoir.

The Colorado River at Colorado City came within seven-hundredths of an inch being at official flood stage.

ORIGINAL STORY: The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Colorado River basin area south of Colorado City, above the Spence Reservoir.

The river, at the time of this writing, is currently at a stream stage of 11.68 feet, rising more than a half-foot per hour. At 12 feet, the river overflows its banks. Flood stage is 15 feet, the river is expected to crest at 16.6 feet.

River stream stage, Colorado River at Colorado City, Noon June 1, 2021

The river is expected to reach flood stage some time this evening, then fall below flood stage tomorrow morning.

Impacts for the area will be:

  • 12 feet: River overflows its banks, resulting in minor flooding of ranch land and fence posts. No structures are threatened at this stage.
  • 14 feet: Minor flooding of farm and ranch land begins. No buildings or structures are threatened.

Historical context: The river has reached a previous crest of 35.9 feet on June 20, 1939.

Over the next few days, water from the flood-warned area will flow into the E.V. Spence Reservoir at Robert Lee, Texas

The water from this event will flow into the E.V. Spence Reservoir at Robert Lee, Texas. The reservoir has gained 2,500 acre feet over the Memorial Day weekend and will continue to rise as these waters wend their way into its basin.

Spence, at the time of this writing, has 115,900 acre-feet of water impounded at the surface elevation of 1857.58, which translates to 22.4% full of conservation capacity.

Sources: National Weather Service, Upper Colorado River Authority, United States Geological Survey reporting system, Water Data for Texas

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