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High heat, rapid snowmelt causes flooding in Rocky Mountain National Park

Posted at 3:21 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 14:37:27-04

DENVER — The intense heat bearing down on Colorado is not only making for oppressive temperatures but causing the snowpack to melt faster than some streams and rivers can handle.

Flooding on the Tonahutu Creek and the Colorado River has forced officials to close roads in Rocky Mountain National Park, the park announced Monday.

Closures include the North Inlet access road, the East Inlet Trail, the access road for Bowen Gulch, and the Holzwarth Historic Site at the access bridge, according to RMNP. The East Inlet Trail reopened Tuesday, according to RMNP.

The National Weather Service said rapid snowmelt has caused minor flooding in other parts of the mountains as well.

The NWS issued a flood advisory for snowmelt for the upper reaches of the Colorado River in northeast Grand County, which includes Rocky Mountain National Park.

Monday evening, the Colorado River is expected to hold at 7.9 feet, just below the flooding stage of 8 feet. The water should slowly subside through Tuesday, according to the NWS.

Temperatures will remain above normal for the rest of the week.