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Annual sediment flushing exercise scheduled at Cherry Creek Reservoir

Published May 20, 2014
A round of storms Sept. 14, 2013, impacted the Cherry Creek basin causing pool elevations at Cherry Creek reservoir to enter the flood control pool. Cherry Creek peaked at a pool elevation of 5553.4 ft on Sept. 25, more than 12 feet below the record pool of 5565.8 feet in 1973. Major transportation routes and a large population, which makes up the Denver metropolitan area are located downstream from Cherry Creek Dam.

A round of storms Sept. 14, 2013, impacted the Cherry Creek basin causing pool elevations at Cherry Creek reservoir to enter the flood control pool. Cherry Creek peaked at a pool elevation of 5553.4 ft on Sept. 25, more than 12 feet below the record pool of 5565.8 feet in 1973. Major transportation routes and a large population, which makes up the Denver metropolitan area are located downstream from Cherry Creek Dam.

Cherry Creek Dam and Reservoir Project near Aurora, Colo.

Cherry Creek Dam and Reservoir Project near Aurora, Colo.

OMAHA, Neb. — The annual sediment flushing exercise will be completed at Cherry Creek Reservoir on Thursday, May 29, 2014.

Katie Seefus, project manager in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District office, says the exercise involves high releases from each of the five 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 Wednesday, May 28 until the flush begins. The actual flushing exercise will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 12:20 p.m., Thursday, May 29, when the release will be set back to normal levels. The travel time from Cherry Creek dam to the Cherry Creek at Denver streamgage, located at the Champa Street Bridge, is about 6 hours. Following is a schedule of the planned releases.


TASK

TIME

Gate 1 release 300 cfs

9:30-10:00 a.m.

Gate 1 release 1300 cfs

10:00-10:10 a.m.

Gate 1 release 300 cfs

10:10-10:30 am

Gate 1 closed

10:30 a.m.

Gate 2 release 1300 cfs

10:30-10:40 a.m.

Gate 2 release 300 cfs

10:40-11:00 a.m.

Gate 2 closed

11:00 a.m.

Gate 3 release 1300 cfs

11:00-11:10 a.m.

Gate 3 closed

11:10 a.m.

Gate 4 release 1300 cfs

11:10-11:20 a.m.

Gate 4 release 300 cfs

11:20-11:40 a.m.

Gate 4 closed

11:40 a.m.

Gate 5 release 1300 cfs

11:40-11:50 a.m.

Gate 5 release 1100 - 133 cfs

11:50-12:20 p.m.

Gate 5 closed

12:20 p.m.


Omaha District Commander Col. Joel Cross asks the public to be aware that the high flows will take some time to reach the Cherry Creek channel in downtown Denver, CO.  Flows from the last gate opening will not reach downtown until late afternoon on Thursday. 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 Cross.



Contact
Katie Seefus
402-995-2309
or
Eileen Williamson
402-995-2417
eileen.l.williamson@usace.army.mil

Release no. 20140520-002