Outdoors

Metaline Falls pops into view

The Pend Oreille River powers over Metaline Falls on Sept. 11, 2010, during the maintenance drawdown of more than 30 feet on the reservoir behind Boundary Dam. (Rich Landers)
The Pend Oreille River powers over Metaline Falls on Sept. 11, 2010, during the maintenance drawdown of more than 30 feet on the reservoir behind Boundary Dam. (Rich Landers)

Sightseers view rapids for first time in 27 years

A rare Pend Oreille River drawdown behind Boundary Dam reached its low point today, exposing Metaline Falls for the first time in 27 years.

A dam maintenance project required the drawdown of more than 30 feet to elevation 1,959 feet, said dam operators for Seattle City Light.

See photos from today paired with historic photos of the Pend Oreille River, Metaline Falls and Z Canyon online in the Metaline Falls Exposed, photo gallery at spokesman.com/outdoors.

At full pool, 1,990 feet, Boundary Dam Reservoir’s influence extends upstream about 18 miles, past the town of Metaline, to Box Canyon Dam.

Pool levels were tentatively scheduled to be brought up again later today and back up to near full pool on Monday.

Then the levels will fluctuate to as low as 1,970 feet for several days, said Lonnie Johnson, Boundary Dam supervisor. He noted that the schedule hinges on how smoothly the work proceeds.

Boundary Dam campground remains closed during the dam maintenance.



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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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