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Rising water, hazardous conditions close part of St. Vrain Creek to tubers

Boulder County will enforce tubing restrictions on St. Vrain Creek beginning Tuesday. Quick melting snowpack is forcing creeks and rivers to rise.
Credit: Bryan Wendland
The North Saint Vrain Creek

LYONS, Colo. — Quick melting snowpack and high temperatures are causing some creeks and rivers to rise past the threshold for tubers to float on the water safely in Boulder County. 

The Boulder County Sheriff's Office will close the Saint Vrain creeks and river beginning June 14 at 8 a.m. to "tubing and single chamber flotation devices." The closure includes the North Saint Vrain and Saint Vrain Creek from Apple Valley Road to North Foothills Highway.

Sheriff's deputies will post notices to advise recreationists of the closure.

BCSO consulted with the Town of Lyons and the Lyons Fire Protection District to implement the closure. 

Snowpack in the South Platte River basin is expected to melt quickly because of this week's forecasted high temperatures, causing the creeks and river to continue to rise and exceed the cubic feet per second (CFS) threshold needed for a tubing ban. 

RELATED: Snowpack melting at near-record pace in southern Colorado

RELATED: Man seen tubing in the Colorado River missing since Sunday

On Monday, the Saint Vrain River was flowing at approximately 1,000 CFS, the sheriff's office said.

The closure prohibits watercraft such as single chamber rafts, single chamber belly boats and inner tubes from floating in the creek. 

Kayaks and whitewater canoes that hold permits are exempt from the closure, but the sheriff's office warned kayakers to exercise caution and wear personal protection equipment, including a life jacket.

The sheriff is authorized to close waterways under Colorado law. Violations of the closure are a civil infraction and could result in a $100 fine, the sheriff's office said.

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