VALE – Water will be released from Warm Springs, Beulah and Bully Creek Reservoirs this week in an effort to lower the risk of flood, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday, Feb. 5.
A combination of above-average fall water storage in both reservoirs and ample precipitation in the Malheur River Basin over the winter triggered the water release. The aim is to slowly release water to make room in the reservoirs for runoff and more rain as temperatures warm.
“We will get runoff no matter what but say we have a rain event, we will have room and the capacity to utilize those reservoirs to do our flood risk management mission,” said Dylan Peters, media operations manager for theCorps of Engineers’ Walla Walla, Wash., district.
According to Corps of Engineers, officials will assess the water releases “based on basin conditions and may cause fluctuations in river flows downstream of the reservoirs.”
The water release from the reservoirs will “be in the range of 1,500 cubic feet per second,” near Vale by Thursday, according to the Corps.
A water flow rate of about 3,800 cubic feet per second – across a river depth of 19.5 feet near Vale – is considered flood stage.
According to the Corps, as of Monday, Feb. 5, the Malheur River Basin is at 118% of normal in precipitation while the snowpack in the basin is 114% of normal.
As of Tuesday, Feb. 6, Warm Springs Reservoir is 73% full while Bully Creek is 66% full.
For more information on reservoir levels go to https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/owytea.html
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