KUSA - A spokesperson for the City of Loveland say the city has been divided in two by high flows of the Big Thompson River, causing closures of all bridges crossing the river.
Crews are staged both on the north and south sides of the river, are working to maintain services to residents.
Mobility in the city is also affected by regional road closures, including the shutdown of Interstate 25 between north Fort Collins and Colorado Highway 7 in Boulder County.
Loveland residents are advised not to travel in the river corridor area except in emergency cases. Flows of the Big Thompson have reached the highest levels since the Big Thompson flood of 1976.
The floodwaters have spread broadly across the city, but are mostly contained within the zone defined by the 100-year flood maps developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Residents should avoid fast, high and standing water not only in the river corridor, but along numerous ditches that run through the city, some of which have been breached by floodwaters.
The flooded river has also brought debris from upstream, including hazardous materials including propane tanks and other items that threaten public safety.
Thompson School District schools are closed, and emergency crews are advising parents to keep their children away from the floodwaters.
Loveland's water and power supplies remain intact. Water utility workers have tested the water quality from the city's treatment plant at Green Glade Reservoir, that lies above the flooded area, and it is safe to consume.
The break of a major water line that crosses the Big Thompson River in west Loveland so far has not affected the delivery of potable water throughout the city.
A few Loveland power customers in the Big Thompson Canyon west of Loveland are without power, and the City is working in conjunction with Xcel Energy to restore that service.
Water releases from Olympus Dam in Estes Park were stepped up early Friday to match the inflow to Lake Estes, and to draw the lake down to safer levels. The resulting flow in Loveland was measured at more than 9,000 cubic feet per second at a Glade Road gauging station.
Loveland police are maintaining uniformed presence at every closure barricade in the city, and are on the lookout for people who intrude into closed zones of the city.
The city is also collaborating with regional emergency services to evacuate stranded residents of Big Thompson Canyon, where access has been blocked by the collapse of U.S. Highway 34 in several canyon locations.
The City will continue to post emergency information on the City website at www.CityofLoveland.org, on the City Facebook and Twitter pages, 1610 AM radio and the City's Infoline; 962-2020.
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