Courier staff writer
RIO GRANDE/MINERAL COUNTIES — Human safety is still the number one focus of the Rio Grande Watershed Emergency Reaction Coordination Team (RWEACT), and they are hoping today’s efforts will make a difference in the future.
On Wednesday, RWEACT Executive Director Tom Spezze updated the Rio Grande Roundtable on the current condition of the $33 million West Fork Complex Fire (WFCF) aftermath.
“It is an enormous amount of ground we have covered,” Spezze said. “Now we are entering the long-term stewardship phase.”
The RWEACT hydrological team, he said, is working to install two additional stream gauges above the Little Squaw Creek Resort with audible alarms to notify the resort residents.
“That’s a big deal,” Spezze said. “It’s a black area waiting for a flash flood... It will come. We are banking on it.”
The gauges will monitor flow as well as flow stoppage, he said. The team is also working to install signage for the six rain gauges, and developing a model to predict potential spring run-off.
A debris flow study is nearly complete to guide RWEACT, which will allow further preparation efforts to develop, he said. Initial data shows Little Squaw Creek baseline water flow is 103 cubic square feet per second, which could jump to 732 cubic square feet per second in a flooding event.For the complete article see the 10-12-2013 issue.
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