Southern Lake levels: Update 7, 21-June 2021
This is the 7th email update sharing information about the potential flood situation for the Southern Lakes. Yellow highlight indicates where information is new from the last update.
Over the past week lake levels rose about 10 cm a day, rising faster than anytime over the past 20 years, including 2007. As of 21-Jun, Marsh Lake is 80 cm above average and 15 cm above 2007 levels. We still cannot predict how high the waters will get, but I have requested that we hear from EMO this coming week re how and when we will respond. For now here are two links for flood preparation: Yukon<https://yukon.ca/en/take-steps-keep-yourself-and-your-property-safe-floods> & Canada<https://www.canada.ca/en/campaign/flood-ready.html>.
* 1-May 2021 final snow bulletin came out: (https://yukon.ca/sites/yukon.ca/files/env/snow_bulletin_may_2021_final-en.pdf)
* Southern Lakes snow load = 215%
* "Water levels in the Southern Lakes are driven by a combination of snowmelt, summer precipitation and glacier melt"
* 19-March 2021, Yukon Energy (YEC) opened the locks at the Lewes River control structure (roughly 2 months early)
* The boat lock on north side of Lewes River control structure open
* YEC has dropped elevation of Schwatka by -0.93 m to try to increase flow through Miles Canyon
* YEC continues to work with float plane users to find a solution to lower level of Schwatka for this summer
* As of 7-May 2021, Marsh Lake level began to increase again
* May precipitation for Southern Lakes was up by 29% over average
* So far, June precip is above average for Atlin and below average for Whitehorse area
* Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) and Water Resources Branch are meeting regularly to discuss risk levels and preparation.
* EMO is reviewing the flood response report from 2008 and I have asked for a report on any outstanding action items.
The attached graphs shows the lake levels of Marsh and Tagish over the past 20 years based on Government of Canada hydrometric data. Peak lake levels are typically reached in August. The 2007 flood year is indicated in a purple; the 2020 year is shown in green and the average is shown in red. 2021 is shown as the dotted light blue line. I have added the full-supply and low-supply levels in yellow (please note that the Gov Canada hydro data uses relative elevations; I have adjusted the levels by their suggested datum conversions).
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