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Race Underway To Protect Towns Against Spring Flooding

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LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s a race against the calendar and nature as residents and engineers work to protect towns in Northern Colorado against spring flooding.

Many people suffered after last fall’s devastating floods and residents are trying to prevent a repeat.

Crews are trying to fix the riverbed underneath the Highway 287 bridge in Loveland where water flows at a rate of 25 cubic feet per second. Some days levels reach three times that.

Engineer Chris Carlson said that’s an unusually high rate, making finishing repairs an even more urgent goal.

“It’s just been really since September a mad rush just dealing with the emergency. We call them exigent projects,” said Carlson.

Snowpack is also higher than average, making the conditions prompt new flood concerns.

“We need to be realistic, but we want to be prepared,” said Larimer County Recovery Manager Suzanne Bassinger.

In Larimer County volunteer groups are partnering with government workers to fill and hand out free sandbags.

Bassinger says supplies won’t be available until the middle of April.

“Be aware of where you are. Look around, what environmental impacts could happen in your area, and if sandbags seem like a good idea in your area, take advantage of this program,” said Bassinger.

It’s still too soon to say if Northern Colorado will definitely experience more flooding.

“So it’s really going to be wait and see to see if the conditions are right for high spring runoff,” said Carlson.

Flooding will depend largely on the weather, especially, on how fast temperatures rise over the next two months.

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