#Runoff news — West Salt Creek Slide: Pond breach gashes slide — The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

Grand Mesa mudslide before and after via The Denver Post
Grand Mesa mudslide before and after via The Denver Post

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:

Authorities remained on alert after about a third of the water in the pond at the top of the West Salt Creek landslide burst out early Friday morning, ripping a deep gorge down the middle of the 3-mile-long slide.

About 120 acre-feet of water rushed out of the pond about 2:30 a.m. after a snowstorm brewed up suddenly, according to authorities who sent out a plane at first light to survey the pond and assess any damages…

The pulse of water from the so-called “sag pond” ran down West Salt Creek toward Plateau Creek and then into the Colorado River several days at least before Vega Reservoir was expected to top into its spillway into Plateau Creek, authorities said.

No shifting of the slide block accompanied the sudden rush of water, alleviating fears that a water release might trigger another landslide.

“This is what we were hoping for, in all honesty,” said Pete Baier, Mesa County’s deputy administrator for operations…

Rather than flow over the dam and then cut downward, it appears that the water found a pathway out of the pond well below the top, said Garrett Jackson, a dam-safety engineer for the state Division of Water Resources.

As the water escaped, it undercut the top of the block, collapsing it and sweeping it downstream in the sudden surge.

Photos of the rushing stream show it white as it falls steeply, only turning turbid as it slows.

That shows, “It’s not a new landslide,” Jackson said.

From the Summit Daily News:

Tenmile Creek is the polar opposite of Water World.

Down on Pecos Street in Denver, the largest water park in Colorado is gearing up for the summer season with water slides, wave pools and everything else you’d expect at a manmade water playground. There are dangers to be sure, but everything at Water World is overseen by well-trained lifeguards and managed by tons upon tons of machinery, all designed to keep guests as safe as possible. All you need is sunscreen and a decent breaststroke.

In Summit County, the early-summer scene is entirely different. On Tenmile Creek — the waterway found just outside of Frisco on the shoulder of Interstate 70 — whitewater rafting seems just as enticing as Cowabunga Beach and Turtle Bay in suburban Denver. The river is flowing at 247 cubic feet per second, which is relatively low compared to the May 27 average of 407 cfs. In other words, Tenmile is lower and friendlier than usual, at least on paper, and experienced kayakers are anxious for the true start of a stellar whitewater season.

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