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Recent heavy rainfall helps Northern Colorado reservoirs, slightly slows construction of Chimney Hollow Reservoir

Recent heavy rainfall helps Northern Colorado reservoirs
Recent heavy rainfall helps Northern Colorado reservoirs 02:16

Over the past six to eight weeks, rainstorms have played a huge role in improving the supply at Colorado reservoirs. Jeff Stahla, the public information officer for Northern Water, says this has been a great year for reservoirs in the area.

"Honestly, this has been a great spring for the reservoirs of Northern Colorado," said Stahla.

Reservoirs in Northern Colorado have received past their annual average of precipitation.

"We've measured about 15 inches of precipitation out here since May 1, which is about the annual precipitation that we get for this area," said Stahla.

It is certainly welcomed for the area after seeing the effects of the drought in years past.

"We know that the water that is coming down filling those reservoirs is going to be used if not this year the next year or the year after because we know the hydrology in Colorado has a lot of ups and downs," said Stahla.

"So the reservoirs on Colorado's Front Range are pretty close to full and actually right now reservoirs in the county where we get water from the Colorado Big Thompson project, they are full and water is going over the spillway at Lake Granby," said Stahla.

It also happens to be in the area where the largest reservoir in 25 years, the Chimney Hollow project, is under construction. But, the project will not reap the benefits of this year's water.

"This would've been a good year to store water for the project," said Stahla.

Stahla says the recent storms have pushed them back just a bit.

"It has caused us a couple days when we couldn't do construction, the muddy roads made it not as safe for the heavy equipment to drive around," said Stahla.

Which is why it's helpful to have a cofferdam which they built at the very beginning of this project. It serves as a temporary dam to help move water around the area.

"That cofferdam is holding water that came down from the recent rains and then we can be releasing it in a controled manner to make sure that it doesn't affect the job site," said Stahla.

Runoff is heavy throughout the state, but none of Northern Water's infrastructure is at risk.

Statewide, property owners along streams should be aware of snowmelt and the monsoon season later this summer. That's especially true for those downstream of fire damaged areas.

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