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FLOODING: TPU showed dam good management

Letter by Howard Glastetter , Olympia on Dec. 13, 2010 at 1:33 pm with 1 Comment »
December 13, 2010 1:33 pm

I live in Thurston County’s Nisqually Valley and have a couple downstream observations about recent Western Washington flooding.

First, flooding in the valley was a non-issue this time around. Tacoma Power’s management of the Alder Lake Reservoir was outstanding in this recent storm. Before the storm hit on Dec. 11, Alder Lake Reservoir had been lowered to 18 feet below capacity. It continued to be lowered as the storm hit and early on afterwards.

The Nisqually River in the lower valley did not get above 4 feet below the top of the bank. As of Monday morning, after the storm, the reservoir level was still 15 feet below capacity.

This effort was an outstanding example of flood management, and Tacoma Power should be congratulated for putting safety first.

Leave a comment Comments → 1
  1. I guess I need to take back my complement. Alder Lake is now at 1202.6 feet elevation (less than four and a half feet below capacity). This is a dangerous December level. Even a couple days of sustained cool rain could force the dumping of the dam.

    In this last storm, perhaps, Tacoma Power was just concerned about themselves. Their prior Russian Roulette management in February 1996 not only caused severe flooding in the valley, (I understand) it caused $20,000,000 damage to Tacoma Power’s downstream facilities at LaGrande Dam.

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