2023 Spring Runoff

Western Colorado as a whole received higher than average snow during the 2022-2023 winter and as a result, officials are predicting a higher than average spring runoff. The San Miguel Rivers is predicted to experience a runoff 130-150% higher than its average of 1140 cubic feet per second. It is possible that homes along the river in the Placerville and Fall Creek areas could be impacted by high water. Other areas of concern include homes and infrastructure along major drainages, including Fall Creek and Cornet Creek, as well as on the mesas.

Predictions from the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center are updated daily and we encourage citizens to protect their property in advance if they are close enough to the river to be impacted.

Snowpack and River Data Links

Property Protection

The protection of private property ultimately rests with the property owner. Citizens are encouraged to take steps now to protect their homes. Actions include:

  • Purchase and fill sandbags to use to divert water away from the home
    • See the San Miguel County Sandbag Flyer (PDF) for additional information
    • Sandbags are available at the Telluride Ace Hardware store and at Home Depot in Montrose. Due to regional demand, citizens are advised to purchase what they need now to account for supply chain delays.
    • There are alternatives to sandbags, including water bags and earth berms. Citizens are encouraged to research and decide what will work best for them
  • San Miguel County does have a limited supply of sand, empty bags, and pre-filled bags available for the public at the Placerville Firehouse (410 Front Street, Placerville). Please only take what you need.
  • Visit https://www.floodsmart.gov/first-prepare-flooding for flood preparedness tips 
  • Additional tips can be found at https://www.ready.gov/floods

Public Alert and Warning

If you have not already signed up for San Miguel County Alert and Warning, please do so. If you have trouble signing up or have forgotten your password, you may contact the Office of Emergency Management at info@sanmiguelsheriff.org or at 970-369-8628. 

Floodplain Information

  • Use the FEMA Flood Map Service Center to see if you live within the floodplain of the San Miguel River
    • Enter your address in the search
    • Click on the "View/Print FIRM" icon to view the selected map. Note that some maps have been revised - those revisions can be found by clicking on the Amendments and Revisions links to the right of the FIRM icons.
    • The Flood Smart Website has some good information about how to read flood maps and understanding flood zones

Flood Insurance

Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Do an annual “insurance check-up” with your agent to make sure you have the right coverage and amounts of coverage. Visit the National Flood Insurance Program Website for more information about purchasing flood insurance.