Weld County experiences some minor flooding; up to 3 inches of rain expected by Sunday | MyWindsorNow.com

Weld County experiences some minor flooding; up to 3 inches of rain expected by Sunday

James Redmond

The spring storm moving over northern Colorado brought a little bit of everything with it as forecasts called for rain, thunderstorms, snow and high-speed winds over the weekend, prompting the cancellations of many events and closures of trails.

With inclement weather already affecting everyday life for area residents, Greeley Public Works, Weld County Office of Emergency Management and the Colorado Department of Transportation all said they would monitor the storm throughout the weekend, prepared to respond to whatever came up.

The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for northern Colorado Friday afternoon. The advisory stays in effect through Sunday night and warns the 1.5 to 3-inches of precipitation expected over the weekend will bring the Poudre and South Platte rivers near the tops of their banks.

Additionally, the National Weather service issued a hazardous weather outlook notice for northern Colorado.

The spring storm will bring a lot of moisture with it and potentially 2-4 inches of snow Saturday night in Greeley, said Jim Kalina, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder. Forecasts predict temperatures in the 40s and 50s over the weekend, cooling off to the 30s Saturday night. The area also could have 20 to 30 mile-per-hour winds with gusts reaching 40 mph.

"(The storm) has a little bit of everything," Kalina said.

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The weather should start to clear and warm up early next week, he said.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, .55 inches of rain had fallen in Greeley, according to data from a weather monitoring station at the University of Northern Colorado. So far this month, Greeley has received 1.83 inches of rain. Average rainfall for this portion of May is 0.64 inches.

Although Greeley Public Works put plows on some of its trucks in anticipation of the weekend's weather, Joel Hemesath, public works director, said he worries more about tree branches breaking than the prospect of snow. "(We're) never sure if it will rain, snow or hail," he said. So, they have plows and chainsaws ready, just trying to be prepared for whatever comes.

Throughout the weekend, Greeley Public Works will monitor the rains and rivers, watching the low-lying roads for flooding so they can close them if needed, Hemesath said.

CDOT has a similar plan. Jared Fiel, CDOT Region 4 spokesman, said CDOT will watch the storm and river levels making sure their equipment and personnel are ready for whatever the storm brings.

With rivers already running high and more rain expected throughout the weekend, Roy Rudisill, Weld County Office of Emergency Management director, said the county will watch for flooding roads, ready to close them and post closure notices.

Although Weld County is feeling the downpour of continuing springs showers, these are not the same conditions, or storms, which led to the 2013 flooding, Rudisill said. The current weather is actually quite similar to what the area sees during normal spring runoff, he said, just about a month earlier than normal.

However, the weather has caused inconvenience, cancellations and other weather-related changes to events this weekend.

Portions of Poudre Trail were closed in Greeley and Windsor because of high water earlier in the week and remain closed.

The trail was closed between 59th and 71st avenues in Greeley and the section of trail that crosses beneath 7th Street in Windsor was closed because of the high water. However, users still can use the trail by crossing up and over 7th Street on sidewalks.

Additionally, authorities closed the Poudre River Ranch area from 71st to 83rd avenues in Greeley Friday because of high water.

The rain also forced the postponement of the Poudre Trail-athlon, which was originally scheduled for today, and has been tentatively rescheduled for June 6.

Greeley officials are asking that residents stay clear of all riverbanks as the banks can become unstable with continuing high water levels.

Weather also caused the cancellation of downtown Greeley's Friday Fest and moved the University of Northern Colorado graduation ceremony inside today.

Weld road closures

There are three road closures in Weld County because of high water: Weld County Road 4 between Weld 73 and Weld 81, about 4 miles south-east of Prospect Valley; Weld 89 between Weld 46.5 and Weld 52 about one mile northeast of Riverside Reservoir; and Weld 5 between Weld 34.5 and Weld 36, about one mile northwest of Mead. Public Works personnel continue to check locations and respond to calls. They will also have an emergency response team on deck for the weekend, according to a news release from Weld County. For more information, go to http://www.weldgov.com.

Current information can also be found on Weld County’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WeldCountyGovernment.

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Parks and nature closures

For updates regarding natural area closures, visit http://www.greeleygov.com/parks.

Current Poudre Trail conditions are listed on http://www.poudretrail.org or by listening to a recorded message at (970) 336-4044.

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UNC ceremonies moved indoors

The rainy weather forecast for the weekend has forced organizers of the University of Northern Colorado graduation ceremony to move the event inside Saturday.

Because of the weather, the university will hold three ceremonies at Bank of Colorado Arena at Butler-Hancock Athletic Center on the UNC campus, south of the intersection of 14th Avenue and 20th Street.

To accommodate graduates and guests, the three ceremonies, which are scheduled by college, will last about an hour, according to a news release from UNC.

» Natural and Health Sciences: 10 a.m.

» Performing and Visual Arts; Humanities; and Social Sciences: 1 p.m.

» Monfort College of Business; Education and Behavioral Sciences; and University College: 4 p.m.

Doors open an hour before each ceremony. Graduates must attend the ceremony for their college, the release stated.

The decision to move the commencement indoors was made for the safety and comfort of graduates and guests. Steady rain during the week has saturated Nottingham Field, and the possibility of more precipitation with the threat of thunderstorms exists through the weekend, according to the release.

For more information, go to http://www.unco.edu/commencement.