The City of Trail issued a notice Thursday afternoon, informing the public that the Gyro Park beach area is closed due to the rising Columbia River. The sidewalk along the beach is also closed due to extremely high water. The city will keep the area closed until further notice and advises Gyro Park-goers not to access this area.

Updated: Beach closed due to high water

The City of Trail has closed Gyro Park beach and its adjacent sidewalk due to high water.

Gyro Park beach remains cordoned off and closed due to high river flows.

The city issued an advisory on Thursday requesting, until further notice, that the public stay away from the beach and the adjacent section of sidewalk.

BC Hydro sent out an alert on Monday, confirming Columbia River flows are “relatively high” at the Birchbank gauge near Trail.

River flows at Birchbank have been inching up over the past few weeks as a result of intense snowmelt runoff into the Kootenay system.

“Since March 2017 we have been discharging as much as possible from Kootenay Lake to reduce lake levels,” said Jen Walker-Larsen from BC Hydro.

“We will maintain maximum discharge until Kootenay Lake water levels subside,” she added. “For this reason, Columbia River flows at Birchbank will remain relatively high for the next 10 to 14 days but below flood risk levels.”

Kootenay River inflows are currently contributing about 70 per cent of the total runoff, which affects timing of peak flows at Birchbank.

The current flow is 150,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) and is expected to continue to rise over the next 10 days or so, peaking somewhere between 166,000 cfs and 175,000 cfs.

“Although higher than in a typical year, Columbia River flows at Birchbank are expected to remain below flooding thresholds at Castlegar and Trail,” Walker-Larsen noted. “And well below peak river flows experienced in 2012 where we reached 215,000 cfs on July 21.”

BC Hydro is working closely with FortisBC on the management of Kootenay Lake levels and continues to coordinate its operations with the US Army Corps of Engineers on Libby Dam operations.

“We will continue to share information about our operations,” Walker-Larsen advised.

“Elsewhere on the Columbia system, it is business as usual and flows and reservoir water levels are within normal operating levels.”

For current Kootenay Lake level information visit the FortisBC website at fortisbc.com and click on the “Electricity” tab and customer service link to Kootenay Lake Levels.

Information on daily reservoir levels/river flows can be obtained by calling 1.877.924.2444 or visiting BC Hydro’s water flows and reservoir levels page on the company’s website.

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