Riverside residents concerned about snowmelt, damaged home in Middle St. Vrain Creek

County working with Feds on plan to remove home

BOULDER, Colo. - Residents in the Riverside area west of Lyons are getting antsy about the spring run-off.

Their main concerns are all the downed trees that span Middle St. Vrain Creek, and a flood damaged home that sits in the creek bed just a few feet away from a bridge along Riverside Drive.

"If that house goes, then this bridge is going to go," said resident Sandy Duren. "I live four doors down. If this bridge goes, then my yard is going to go."

Office of Emergency Management officials in Boulder County said they are aware of the house and they are aware of the snowmelt.

"We are working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service," said OEM Director Mike Chard. "They have a specific program that deals with the removal of those types of homes."

A NRCS representative was in Riverside placing markers around the house on Friday.

"It looks like it's a big task," Chard said, "but once they go through the process of getting that cleared, they can have a house out of the creek and up and out of danger's way in a day or two."

When asked if the County anticipates any problems with debris during the spring runoff, Chard replied, "We do.  We're expecting some frequency of problems, but low severity."

Chard said the program the County is operating under now is to get rid of high level threats. 

"We know things are going to move," he said. "Folks are actually going to see some wood moving around, debris that is in the creek beds.  We do have a procedure developed and have asked people to call that in to the 911 Center."

Chard said that a fast snowmelt or a 2-inch thunderstorm would be an issue.

"We are planning for that contingency," he said.

Chard said the County is monitoring stream levels and will dispatch work crews and emergency crews wherever observers see debris building up in culverts or bridges.

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