Estes Park, the Big Thompson Canyon, and surrounding areas of Larimer County are currently experiencing areas of severe flooding and rising waters today after days of continual rainfall.
All roads into and out of Estes Park have been closed except Trail Ridge Road. Local authorities are asking residents to not attempt to drive today. If driving is an emergency, they are being directed to use Trail Ridge Road.
Evacuations are currently being conducted throughout Estes Park, mostly the elderly. It is not known where those people are being taken. Several residences were evacuated over night along Fish Creek near Brook Drive.
Larimer County notified nearly 600 residents in the Big Thompson Canyon shortly before 8 a.m. today that water is being let out of Olympus Dam from Lake Estes. As a result, the level of the Big Thompson River is expected to rise significantly.
Estes Park Public Information Officer Kate Rusch said today that all rivers and streams in the area - especially Fall River, Fish Creek, and the Big Thompson River, are out of their banks. She said residents should exercise extreme caution if they need to leave their homes.
"Watch everything very carefully," Rusch said. She advised residents to go to the town's twitter account at twitter.com/townofestespark for updates on local conditions. Residents can also call the town's information line at 577-3716 for information.
For condition updates outside of Estes Park, residents can go online to http://larimer.org/emergency/emergency_detail.cfm?nam_id=100.
Larimer County officials have also warned residents in Big Elk Meadows, Pinewood Springs, and Blue Mountain of possible floods from rapidly rising waters and a dam failure.
The county contacted 165 devices in Big Elk Meadows early this morning to warn them that Larimer County Road 47 is impassable and that dams containing the lakes in the area and in danger of collapsing. In fact, one dam has failed.
The county also contacted 147 devices in Pinewood Springs warning people that an earthen dam in Big Elk Meadows had failed and that water may rise in the area. Residents are advised to be prepared to climb to higher ground or seek shelter at the Pinewood Springs Fire Station.
The county also contacted 88 devices in the Blue Mountain area to advise them of the earthen dam failure in Big Elk Meadows and that they might have to seek higher ground, especially along the river.
Other road closures in Larimer County as of 7:30 a.m.:
• Colorado Highway 14 in the Poudre Canyon from Ted's Place to Stove Prairie Road
• U.S. 34 from the Dam Store to Estes Park
• U.S. 36 from Lyons to Estes Park
• Larimer County Road 47 from U.S. 36
• Stove Prairie Road (LCR 27) from Colo. Highway 14 to Rist Canyon Road
• LCR 43 from Glen Haven to Drake (U.S. 34)
• LCR 23 from Larimer County road 50 to LCR 52E
• LCR 54 from LCR 25E
• LCR 52E at Watson Lake
• Watch for hourly updates on this breaking story at eptrail.com