Lake Darling releases cut

Releases through Lake Darling Dam were cut sharply Friday, an idicator that less runoff will be entering the lake than previously expected.

Earlier this week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said they would be maintaining a release rate of 1,100 cubic feet per second through the weekend and would re-evaluate the situation next week. However, late Friday afternoon the Corps announced that Lake Darling releases were being cut to 280 cfs.

The Souris River flow at the Sherwood Crossing that leads into Lake Darling was listed by the United States Geological Survey at 2,260 cfs Friday. The level of Lake Darling was 1,593.89 feet, well below the overflow level of 1,601.8 feet. The summer target elevation is 1,597 feet, a level that is now expected to be achieved about mid-May.

In their daily runoff report issued Friday, the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency reiterated their previous assessment that Rafferty and Alameda Reservoirs have ample storage to contain any anticipated snowmelt. Both reservoirs are located in southern Saskatchewan.

A third impoundment, Boundary Dam near Estevan, was seeing an increase in flow entering the reservoir from Long Creek but the flows less than what has already occurred on Long Creek earlier this season. Boundary is releasing 530 cfs into the Souris.

At nearby Rafferty Reservoir inflows increased to nearly 3,000 cfs Friday. Inflow to Alameda Reservoir at Oxbow, Sask. was reported as “very little” Friday afternoon. Both reservoirs are closed to releases.

According to the WSA, the peak flow at the Sherwood Crossing is expected within the next few days. The National Weather Service concurs, saying the expect a peak at Sherwood of approximately 20.8 feet. Moderate flood stage there is 20 feet. Peak flows could approach 4,000 cfs but only for a few hours.