Heavy rains require action, lowering of river
Avista will need to open additional gates at the Post Falls Dam today to allow the increased flow in the Spokane River to pass by the dam. This action is due to a large amount of rain in the North Idaho mountains over the last 24 hours which is causing Coeur d’Alene Lake to rise.
Avista is waiting to open the biggest gate until this afternoon to allow Spokane River users to move their boats and equipment to a safe location in the river. The elevation of the river near the Spokane Street Bridge this morning is about 2,124.8 ft., which is about 3 feet below summer level. Once the bigger spill gate is opened the river level will drop as much as 7 feet below summer level.
Coeur d’Alene Lake is currently slightly above its normal summer level of 2,128 ft. above sea level which Avista is required to maintain until after Labor Day.
As more water flows in the Spokane River between the lake and the dam, Avista must open more spill gates to allow the water to pass so that the lake remains at or near 2,128. The more spill gates that are open, the lower the elevation of the water above the dam, near the Spokane Street Bridge.
Boaters and other river users are reminded that weather conditions can cause rapid changes in river levels. Please exercise caution on the water.