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UPDATED STATUS OF ST. VRAIN STATE PARK
9/24/2013
Credit:
CPW press release
FIRESTONE – St. Vrain State Park staff would like to thank all of the campers, visitors, and emergency responders who worked with them to safely evacuate the Park during last week’s historic flood.

The Park is closed until further notice pending damage assessment and repairs. The main entrance to the park, Weld County Road 7, is closed north of Highway 119 due to moderate and severe damage to the entrance road. The phones to the park are currently down, but are expected to be back in service soon.

Additional damage on the park includes deep road washouts, structural damage to some ponds, shallow breaches from the river, and other utility and infrastructure damage. The Park is still receiving flood water from Idaho Creek and from a minor breach in the river. The river has not created a new channel through the park, as some rumors suggested. Damage and repair assessments are underway, but much of the construction work will have to wait until the water levels recede. Park staff is confident that the majority of the damage can be repaired and will not be permanent.

The southern campgrounds and the headquarters compound sit on higher ground and were largely spared from damage. The northern campgrounds and all areas of the park north of Weld County Road 24 1/2 and west of Coot Pond sustained varying levels of flood damage.

Biologists are already working to assess the impact on the fisheries on the park and will release information once all of the data is collected and evaluated.

The status of Blue Heron Reservoir has been an item of particular interest. Blue Heron was filled by floodwaters, and Idaho Creek is currently flowing into a breach in the southeastern corner of the reservoir, and back out a breach at the boat ramp on the northeastern corner of the reservoir. We hope to keep as much water in the reservoir as possible, but we may need to lower water levels by a few feet in order to repair the boat ramp.

St. Vrain State Park staff greatly appreciates the public’s interest and enthusiasm and are working to organize volunteer projects for the near future. However, there is no need for unscheduled individual volunteers at this time. Please email the park at st.vrain.park@state.co.us with your contact information, availability, and any specific skills if you are interested in volunteering and the Park will notify you of upcoming volunteer projects. Interested volunteers should be aware of the potential health risks of working around floodwater contamination, and may want to check the status of vaccines such as tetanus before volunteering at the park.

Finally, the public is reminded not to try to enter the park property in any area before the park has been reopened. Staff understands that members of the public are both curious and concerned about the damage to their state park and are working toward reopening portions of the park as soon as possible. Please note the park will not reopen to the public until it is safe to do so. This will allow the staff to work on flood damage repairs instead of law enforcement and emergency response issues.

Additional photos and information can be found at:

http://bit.ly/StVrainFB

Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, all of Colorado's wildlife, and a variety of outdoor recreation. For more information go to cpw.state.co.us

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.