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Lake level held down for maintenance on dam

 

The boat launch at Crescent Bay on Lake Roosevelt is currently high and dry, but Spring Canyon and up to 11 of 22 launches in the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area still reach the water. Spring Canyon, the lowest reaching launch, goes down to elevation 1,222.

Lake Roosevelt is being held at a level about 47 feet below the full mark while maintenance is completed on the drum gates that hold the water back when the lake is full.

The Bureau of Reclamation reports the lake will likely remain below 1,255 feet above sea level until May 10.

The water forecast for the Columbia River drainage above Grand Coulee Dam, from April to August this year, is estimated at 82.5 percent of normal, so the maximum level allowed for flood control right now would actually be 1,283.3 feet, less than 7 feet below spilling over at 1,290.

But such flood control elevations are the maximum elevations allowed to ensure enough room in the lake for the spring runoff. Actual elevations may be lower "based on power demand, unforeseen power emergencies, changes in weather events, maintenance on the dam, etc," the bureau explains on its website.

Lake level forecasts are updated by 3 p.m. and available by phone at 1-800-824-4916.

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