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CPW closes Flagler Reservoir 7/26 within State Wildlife Area due to flooding

Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Colorado Parks and Wildlife closed Flagler Reservoir in the Flagler Reservoir State Wildlife Area indefinitely on Tuesday as heavy rains caused water to fill the empty reservoir, flow over the spillway and flood a road.

CPW Acting Director Heather Dugan ordered the reservoir closed until water recedes out of a concern for public safety.

"We are closing it to protect the public," Dugan said. "It is not safe to drive a county road that crosses the dam. And CPW is concerned about the houses below the dam in the event we get more rain in the area later this week, as forecast."

The reservoir, north of Interstate 70 in Kit Carson County, was drained in August 2017 under a release order from the Colorado Division of Water Resources. The gate on the dam has remained open and the reservoir empty ever since, except when locally heavy rains fill it temporarily.

Flagler Reservoir is a part of the 400-acre Flagler Reservoir State Wildlife Area located about 5 miles east of the town of Flagler.

CPW is only allowed to keep water in Flagler Reservoir when there is not a downstream water user in need of water. Due to calls for water from downstream senior water right owners, CPW must release this water to the South Republican River.

Flagler was acquired by Colorado as a recreation area in 1965. CPW's predecessor agency the Division of Wildlife took it over in 1978 after it was briefly part of the Colorado State Park system.

It is a popular place to hunt deer, dove, pheasant, rabbit, wild turkey and waterfowl. It has picnic tables and restrooms for wildlife watching.
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