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Tubing banned on Boulder Creek due to high water levels in Denver metro area

Boulder County puts tubing ban into place on Boulder Creek
Boulder County puts tubing ban into place on Boulder Creek 01:36

The Boulder County Sheriff, in conjunction with the City of Boulder, has closed a portion of Boulder Creek to tubing and single-chamber flotation devices in the interest of public safety. The closure was put in place at 5 p.m. on June 12. 

The closure is in effect along Boulder Creek from below Boulder Falls at Highway 119, to 55th Street in the city of Boulder.

The closure includes watercraft such as single-chamber rafts, single-chamber belly boats, and inner tubes from floating in the creek. Deputies posted notices to advise water recreationists about the closure. 

Boulder Creek  CBS

"It's kind of nice when people can come out and do the tubing but when the water is like this, I feel like you are taking your life in your own hands," said Boulder resident Andrew Ulanoff. "I mean with that much water and the huge rocks underneath the water you can just, like slip and kill yourself."

On Wednesday, Boulder Creek was flowing at approximately 701 CFS and is expected to continue to increase as temperatures rise. According to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, Spring run-off, and the normal scheduled release of water from Barker Reservoir, will cause the creek water flow to rise, increasing risks to people recreating and first responders performing water rescues. Increased risks which are present during higher water flows, include cold water temperatures, floating debris, and obstructions in the water which can snag a person.

There is an exemption for kayaks and white-water canoes which are still permitted during the tubing ban. Officials are urging kayakers to practice caution and wear personal protection equipment, including a life jacket, wet or dry suit, and a helmet. 

Additional Information from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office:

If you are recreating on a waterway that is not impacted by the closure, or using an exempted watercraft, please be aware that the water conditions still may not be safe for your skill and comfort level. Always use caution and wear personal safety equipment when recreating in bodies of water.

The closure will remain in place until the water flow levels in the creek reduce to a level that is deemed to be safer for single chamber flotation devices.

The sheriff is authorized to close waterways under Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.) 33-13-110(2)(c). Violations of the closure are a civil infraction and will result in a $100.00 fine.

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