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Annual sediment flushing exercise scheduled at Cherry Creek Reservoir

Published May 14, 2012


OMAHA, Neb. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it will complete the annual sediment flushing exercise at Cherry Creek Reservoir on Wednesday, May 23.

Katie Seefus, project manager in the Corps' Omaha District office, says the exercise involves high releases from each of the four main outlet gates at the Cherry Creek Reservoir Project, located south of Interstate 225 in Aurora, Colo. "When the gates are opened, the high velocity of the water leaving the reservoir scours the area immediately upstream of the gates and transports sediment with the flow," says Seefus. The scouring of the sediment near the gates is required to allow proper operation of the outlet gates.

A release of 50 cubic feet per second (cfs) will be made at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22 until the flush begins. The actual flushing exercise will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23. The first gate will open for 40 minutes, followed by the remaining three gates open for 30 minutes each. Flows will range from 50 cfs to 1300 cfs. The flushing exercise will be completed by 1:30 p.m.

Omaha District Commander Col. Robert Ruch asks the public to be aware that the high flows will take some time to reach the downtown channel, and flows from the last gate opened will not reach the downtown channel until late afternoon on Wednesday. The high flows will cause higher than normal creek stages and potential flooding of bike paths and stream crossings. "In the interest of public safety, I urge the public to not attempt to cross the stream during this event," says Ruch.

Margaret Oldham

Release no. 20120514-001