Rainy Lake still dropping

Heavy rainfall Friday threatened to raise water levels on Rainy Lake again but water levels continue to drop over the weekend.
As of press time Monday, the lake was measured at 338.43 m (1,110.3211 ft).
Ed Eaton, with the International Rainy Lake Board of Control, said the lake level has continued to drop since peaking at 338.56 m (1,110.77 ft) on June 27.
“We’ve come off of things a bit. Levels are remaining steady, which in light of the rain last week is a pretty good outcome,” Eaton said Monday morning.
“Fortunately, Friday’s rain didn’t impact Rainy as much. Inflows are still less than outflows,” echoed Shawn Russell, power and recovery production engineer for Abitibi-Consolidated here.
But in related news, the IRLBC reported Friday that it had authorized a doubling in the outflow from Namakan Lake in response to the moderate-to-heavy rainfall in the area.
Following the initial increase in the levels of Rainy and Namakan lakes in response to wind effects and the rain that fell directly on the surfaces of the lakes, the lakes were little changed from the levels of Thursday afternoon.
Russell said it was hard to say when lake levels would return to normal since it depended entirely on rainfall. And while water levels remained high, he added there always was a danger of a return to flood conditions with heavy rains.
“All 15 gates are open and it will do what it will do. There is nothing more that we can do in terms of the dam at Fort Frances. We basically don’t have any control. It’s up to Mother Nature,” he stressed.
“We’re not out of the woods yet and we won’t be out of the woods for the next two weeks,” Eaton predicted.
Eaton said weather forecasts for the next week were looking favourable with no significant storms in sight. But he also warned the storms of June 9-10 didn’t show up in the forecasts, either.
While things are returning to normal here, Eaton noted others weren’t as lucky.
“At Lake of the Woods, their water levels are still rising, they haven’t peaked yet. And people on the Winnipeg River are suffering pretty badly right now,” he added.
“It’s been a real tough summer.”