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Aug-03-2009 19:51printcomments

North Santiam River Levels Will Rise Tuesday

This operation is expected to be completed by the end of the day.

Santiam River
Photo courtesy: State of Oregon

(SANTIAM, Ore.) - The US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) will be executing a drawdown of Big Cliff Reservoir upon completion of emergency repairs tomorrow morning.

This is part of an on-going repair process which has caused changes in flow rates and river temperatures this year for the North Santiam River.

The Corps says Tuesday’s operation will result in some significant changes in river levels for the North Santiam, especially in the upper sections.

Starting at 7:00 a.m., engineers will be shut off discharges from Detroit Dam and increasing flows out of Big Cliff Dam. The flows are currently around 800 cfs (cubic feet per second) and could increase to as much as 2,000 cfs during the day on Tuesday.

Big Cliff Reservoir is expected to drop from 1180’ elevation down to 1166’ by the end of the day, at a rate of 1-2 feet per hour. If the outflow increases at the maximum rate described above, this will translate into an increased river level of 1.2 feet at Niagara, and .6 feet at Mehama.

Although these seem like small figures, this is an unusual event and can cause problems for fisherman, boaters and other river users tomorrow. Use extreme caution around the river banks, and be aware that anchored boats may become un-tethered in rapidly rising conditions.

The ACE will have multiple personnel on site. They plan to constantly monitor any and all changes, and deal with them in a safe and expeditious manner.

This operation is expected to be completed by the end of the day Tuesday, and outflow amounts at Big Cliff Dam should level out at 1050-1100 cfs. Salem News will continue to monitor this situation, and advise of any additional developments.

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