Flooding possible along Sprague River
Herald and News by Stephen Floyd 3/22/17
Klamath County Emergency Management has mobilized volunteers to
respond to possible flooding along the Sprague River after water
levels rose beyond expectations Tuesday.
In a statement from Emergency Manager Morgan Lindsay, water
levels between Beatty and Chiloquin were higher than what
expected after increased rain and snow melt.
Lindsay said levels observed Tuesday were greater than was
observed during minor flooding of the Sprague River last month.
She said she could not explain why but said volunteers are
monitoring water levels and ready to respond with sandbags and
other assistance as needed.
“I believe the Sprague River will continue to rise for the next
several days downriver,” said Lindsay. “It appears to take two
days for the high water in Beatty to reach Sprague River, and
another two days after that for the water to reach Chiloquin.
These are estimates, and my fingers are crossed.”
As of Tuesday, sandbags were being distributed at the Chiloquin
Fire and Rescue headquarters and Station 3, and the Sprague
River Community Center. Residents with concerns can contact
Lindsay’s office at 541-851-3741.
The Bureau of Reclamation and PacifiCorp may be increasing
releases from Upper Klamath Lake at Link River Dam to maintain
adequate flood control capacity in Upper Klamath Lake, according
to a BOR news release.
The increased releases, if needed, would be a result of
increased inflows to Upper Klamath Lake due to recent and
forecasted rain in the Upper Klamath Basin. The exact timing and
magnitude of increased releases will be dependent upon the
actual precipitation that occurs in the Upper Klamath Basin over
the next several days.
Link River flows may increase to a maximum of 7,700 cfs, and
Iron Gate Dam releases may increase to a maximum of 12,000 cfs.
If increased releases are warranted, the risks of flooding in
the Klamath River downstream of Iron Gate Dam will be evaluated
and the releases will be made in a manner that does not
exacerbate flooding conditions along the Klamath River corridor.
Residents and those recreating along the Link and Klamath
rivers, and on Lake Ewauna, should be aware, expect rising
water, and take appropriate precautions.
This flow release is being done for flood control purposes but
may also provide ecologic benefits including contributing to
fish disease mitigation in the Klamath River below Iron Gate
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