Libby Dam outflows to decrease
River stage at Libby and Bonners Ferry will be lowered
June 20, 2006
The National Weather Service River Forecast Center has updated the forecast inflows into the Libby reservoir. Inflow yesterday, June 19, was 43,700 cubic feet per second (cfs).
The River Forecast Center is expecting inflow into Koocanusa Reservoir to recede throughout the forecast period. The reservoir elevation at 11:00 am June 16 was 2,458.26 ft, which is within 0.8 ft from full.
Based on the latest forecast, outflows from Libby Dam will slowly be decreased starting at 12:00 pm PDT. Outflow will be reduced by 1,000 cfs every four hours for a total reduction of 5,000 cfs by Wednesday morning, June 21. That will result in a total outflow of 50,000 cfs. As inflows continue to recede this week, additional decreases in outflow will be made following the same trend.
The National Weather Service River Forecast Center is forecasting the river stage for the Kootenai River at Bonners Ferry, Idaho, to continue to fall as local inflow drops and outflow from Libby Dam are reduced. As of 11:00 am on Tuesday, June 20th, the stage at Bonners Ferry was 1766.33 feet. The National Weather Service River Forecast Center is forecasting that the stage at Bonners Ferry will drop below flood stage (1764.0 feet) sometime on Thursday, June 22.
The most current forecast for Bonners Ferry can be found at the River Forecasting web site at the following web address:
In response to being asked whether there were any reports of flooding in Libby, Mick Shea, Libby Dam Project Manager for the Corps of Engineers said, "There are a limited number of places on the river where people have built in the flood plain where there has been sandbagging to keep water out of basements as well as to minimize erosion, if any was occurring. I understand that there has been no over-bank flooding. There have also been some seepage problems for a few people with basements. That is very likely due to the rising water table and hydrostatic pressure building up under a basement built close to the river."
Shea went on to say, "The good news is that flows in the river are now coming down 1000 cfs every four hours, starting at 1:00 pm today (Tuesday, June 20). People will be seeing the difference by morning. This will continue till we reach 45000 cfs and we will reassess at that time. We would like to continue lowering flows as quickly as is prudent," he said.