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Flooding in Estes Park; webcams, phones down

Flooding on Elkhorn Avenue, Estes Park, Colo.
Elkhorn Avenue, Estes Park

Update, Sept. 22: Two routes into Estes Park are now open to all traffic: (1) Trail Ridge Road, weather permitting, and (2) the Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway from Black Hawk / Central City. Closed indefinitely are Hwy 72  through Coal Creek Canyon, Hwy 119 from Boulder to Nederland, Lefthand Canyon from Boulder to Ward, Hwy 7 from Lyons to Raymond, Hwy 36 from Lyons to Estes Park, and Hwy 34 from Loveland to Estes Park. See listings below for current road closures, conditions.

It’s been hard to get detailed information about the flooding in Estes Park, Colorado. Various sources confirm that Highways 36, 34, and 7 are all washed out in places and closed indefinitely. The only way in or out of town is via Trail Ridge Road, using the Beaver Meadows park entrance into Estes. The road from the Fall River entrance to Deer Ridge Junction is closed. That means Horseshoe Park, a prime foliage and elk viewing area transected by the Fall River, is not accessible.

At a press conference this morning, officials said the Olympus dam on Lake Estes is in good condition and performing as designed. All floodgates on the dam were opened yesterday, and the water level behind the dam is a bit lower today.

All the webcams in and around Estes are out of commission. Not surprising, given conditions in the area, but frustrating. Cell phones and land lines are also down. Radios are the only means of communication at this time.

Rescue and relief helicopters, which fly visually, have been unable to get to Estes because of the low cloud ceiling.

Elkhorn Avenue is Estes Park’s “Main Street.” These photos of conditions along Elkhorn this morning are from the Estes Park Facebook page. They were shot from outside Town Hall.

Elkhorn Avenue, Estes Park
Elkhorn Avenue, Estes Park

And posted by a local TV station:

Elkhorn Avenue, Estes Park

From yesterday, this photo of a home near Fish Creek Road:

Near Fish Creek Road in Estes Park

Some suggested news sources:

The Denver Post
Estes Park Trail Gazette
Boulder Daily Camera
Longmont Times-Call
KUSA Denver Channel 9
KMGH Denver Channel 7
KCNC Denver Channel 4
Rocky Mountain National Park
Boulder Office of Emergency Management
Town of Estes Park Facebook page
Town of Estes Park Twitter feed
Denver Post videos

What you can do to help:

Help Colorado Now

Current road closures:

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)
CDOT Colorado Flood Highway Updates
Boulder County Office of Emergency Management
Larimer County, Colorado

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