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Lake Darling also releasing water at historic volumes

In response to historic releases from the Rafferty, Alameda and Boundary reservoirs on the Mouse River in southern Saskatchewan, the Lake Darling dam will increase its own releases to unprecedented levels this week.

6/22/11 (Wed)

 

In response to historic releases from the Rafferty, Alameda and Boundary reservoirs on the Mouse River in southern Saskatchewan, the Lake Darling dam will increase its own releases to unprecedented levels this week.

 

Personnel at the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge anticipated lowering their releases until upstream portions of the Mouse River basin received up to seven inches of rain last week.

 

On Monday, Lake Darling was releasing about 9,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) from its gates. Souris River Basin National Wildlife Complex project leader Kelly Hogan estimated those releases would be going to 15,000 cfs by Thursday or sooner.

 

Information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday night indicated the releases would increase to 17,000 cfs and then 18,700 cfs by the weekend.

 

The high releases are in response to the expected inflows of the Mouse River at Sherwood, where an estimated 24,000 to 28,000 cfs would be arriving by the weekend.

 

Officials at Lake Darling started releasing water ahead of the onslaught in order to create storage space in the lake.

 

“That [plan] should take us to an elevation of 1601.5 feet on the lake when the water arrives, which is about as high as we like to go,” Hogan said. “The top of the gates, when they’re closed, is 1601.8 feet.”

 

No estimate was available for the amount of time Lake Darling would be releasing water at those increased levels. “We don’t know at this point,” Hogan said. “That’s the variable. This is brand new territory for us.”

 

The Army Corps of Engineers has been handling dam operations at Lake Darling since March.

 

The expected releases from Lake Darling may push the elevation of the Mouse River beyond the 1555.4 feet recorded during the 1969 flood in Minot, prior to the presence of flood control structures or reservoirs on the river.