Pokegama reservoir expected to rise rapidly
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is anticipating Pokegama Lake at Grand Rapids, Minn., to rise rapidly over the next several days.
Due to the recent rainfall totals of 3 to 4 inches of rain during the last four days, the reservoir has risen 0.5 ft from the center of the summer band.
To complicate matters, the National Weather Service has issued flood warnings in Aitkin, Minn., with a crest of 16.9 feet for early Friday, June 1. This is 1.1 feet below major flood stage.
Pokegama Reservoir is a flood control reservoir and is now being operated in order to provide flood control storage for downstream needs. What this means is that the flows from the dam are being decreased to alleviate some downstream flooding. As the flows are decreased, the lake level will continue to rise.
It is very possible that the lake could rise an additional 1 to 2 feet in the next several days. Property owners should take caution to move any boat lifts, docks, etc., to higher ground.
Corps of Engineers staff will continue to monitor the situation on the reservoirs and in the river both upstream and downstream.
“Regulating the reservoirs for flood control is a balancing act as to how much water to hold in the reservoir and how much water to release so the minimum amount of damage is caused both on the reservoir and along the river,” said Corps’ hydraulic engineer Brian Johnson.