With Lake Roosevelt about 4 feet from being full, the Bureau of Reclamation expects the lake to rise starting July 3 by up to a half foot each day through the weekend.
Filling the lake lifts accumulated debris off the shores and into the water where it can be dangerous to boaters.
The Bureau of Reclamation is advising people camping along the Lake Roosevelt shoreline over the July 4 weekend to be aware of potential dangers that could exist due to rapidly rising lake levels.
“When camping along the shoreline, it is recommended that tents and other belongings be kept well away from the water’s edge,” said Public Affairs Officer Lynne Brougher. “Although the lake is a popular vacation spot, it is also a working reservoir that supplies water for hydroelectric facilities at Grand Coulee Dam which can result in rapid fluctuations.”
Brougher says campsites that are too close to the water’s edge could potentially become flooded and boats that are not properly anchored or secured could drift out into the lake and become a safety hazard.
Reclamation must adhere to the court-ordered 2008/2010 FCRPS Biological Opinion requiring the lake to be at the full pool elevation of 1,290 feet above sea level between late June and early July. It was at 1,286 feet above sea level Tuesday evening.
The level of the lake is expected to remain in the 1287 – 1289 range for the next week (July 21 – 27), the Bureau of Reclamation says.This lake level forecast is only a prediction and can change due to weather events, power demand or other unforeseen power emergencies.Lake level forecasts are updated by 3 p.m. each day. Please call 1-800-824-4916 for the updated forecast.
To check on the lake’s current level, you can check here.
Someone just reminded me of this piece on the Grand Coulee Dam area, produced by KXLY TV for their Explorer TV series, in which I was interviewed.
They did a great job of cutting in quick and useful information, and it’s worth a few minutes of your time.
One thing I forgot to mention (one of those “I wish I had said” moments) is that the drive through here on SR 155 is actually the heart of a National Scenic Byway called The Coulee Corridor.
This KXLY video is only offered in Adobe Flash, so it may not play if you’re using a mobile device.
Camping or boating on Lake Roosevelt?
Watch yourself and the lake, which will continue to rise at a couple feet a day, even on the Fourth of July.
That means you shouldn’t pitch your tent too close, or you might be floating before you wake up.
And your boat, anchored out very far, could lift its anchor as the water rises. Good luck finding it the next morning. Better to tie it off at shore with a long rope.
Lake Roosevelt likely won’t be full until about July 10 or 11 this year, a good week later than most years due to the late spring runoff.