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Runoff prompts Avista to open Post Falls gates

The huge runoff from recent thaw has prompted Avista Utilities to open all of its spill gates at Post Falls Dam, the utility said today.

In response to rising Coeur d’Alene and St. Joe River flows and Coeur d’Alene Lake levels, the planned drawdown at Long Lake – the reservoir created by Long Lake Dam – has been canceled.

Coeur d’Alene Lake was roughly two feet above its summer full-pool elevation of 2,128 feet today, and river flows in downtown Spokane reached 21,000 cubic feet per second.

Dam operators are working to keep Lake Spokane slightly below full pool to help prevent flood conditions near the confluence of Little Spokane River and Lake Spokane, Avista said.

As flows decrease, Avista probably will bring Long Lake elevations up near summer full-pool levels.

Weather conditions will dictate whether Avista procedes later with the planned Lake Spokane drawdown.