Kootenay Lake water levels are the highest they’ve been since 1997.
On Tuesday the lake reached a geodetic elevation of 1752.2 feet, just 2.2 feet below the historic maximum in 1974 and 0.7 feet below 1997 levels, based on daily measurements from a gauge at Queens Bay.
Fortis BC spokesperson Neil Pobran said the lake should peak soon.
“We’re expecting the maximum will be between 1752 and 1753 (feet) this year,” he said, explaining engineers track the seasonal rain and snow melt to make the predictions.
Fortis BC has been running its downstream hydroelectric stations on Kootenay River at maximum discharge since mid-March in attempt to keep the lake level down. However, Pobran said water gets backed up around Grohman Narrows causing lake levels to rise.
In Nelson, high water levels have forced the City to close the west waterfront pathway, a popular spot for dog walkers. The Lakeside Park beach has less room for sun tanners, with water reaching past the post for the beach volleyball net. A parking lot near the soccer fields is also flooded.