The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Skilak Lake release not an major issue for lower Kenai River, area

 

October 13, 2016 | View PDF



The release of Skilak glacier-dammed lake took place last week and, based on data from the National Weather Service, the estimated volume and peak water levels on Skilak Lake and the lower Kenai River did not reach flood stage.

Thanks to a week of dry weather, water levels prior to the glacier-dammed lake release were seasonably low and dropped further. With no significant rain events on the horizon to add more water to the river, weather officials indicated there would not be significant impacts from this release.

Skilak Lake, according to the NWS was expected to rise 2 to 3 feet, while the lower Kenai was expected to rise 1.5 to 2.5 feet.

“This would put the lower Kenai river cresting near action stage before dropping,” said Andrew Dixon, a Service Hydrologist/Meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “There is always uncertainty regarding how quickly the lake will drain, with past releases taking anywhere from six to more than 12 days,” he added.

The river crested at 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 11. Water levels have begun to recede. Water levels are expected to drop 2-3 feet downstream from Skilak Lake next week.

 

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