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River Of Ice May Cause Big Problems For Golden

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – The growing ice on the frozen-over Clear Creek is causing concern for Golden residents as the temperature gets warmer.

In downtown Golden there has been flooding in parks and near an RV park on 10th Street.

“It’s way above where it should be. It’s pretty neat,” said Golden resident Kermit Shields.

The frozen creek is bringing sightseers who find it fascinating.

“The height and kind of the way it’s buckling up. It’s pretty cool,” said Shields.

The ice has raised the river level about seven feet.

“I’ve been here 25 years and I’ve seen the river freeze over, but I’ve never seen it behave as it has this time,” said Golden Public Works Director Dan Hartman.

“It may be because we went from relatively warm to cold very quickly that we created ice that’s packing in underneath and forcing the river out in other places,” said Hartman.

With the massive piles of ice there’s concern if more water were to come down the creek.

“We won’t know what will happen. If we get a bunch of water moving down and it pushes that ice it’ll damage an awful lot of the vegetation,” said Hartman.

Hartman said the river usually freezes at a much slower pace but with the recent cold temperatures it just froze too quickly.

Farther downstream is the power plant for the Coors brewery which pumps out hot water back into the creek, so there isn’t a problem to the east. A concern to the west in Coal Creek Canyon is that it could be months before all the ice melts.

Until all the ice melts it is unknown what damage will remain at the flooded Clear Creek History Park.

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