Flooded trails and closed docks seem to be the trend this spring, as water levels of the Columbia River continue to rise.
Most of the increase comes as a result of the snow pack melting, but constant rain hasn’t helped the situation either.
Dave Campbell, head of the River Forecast Centre, said typically this time the snowmelt is peaking in the Columbia, but due to milder temperatures it’s just beginning to kick in.
“When we look at the upper parts of the Columbia we’re melted maybe 20 per cent of the snow that’s there,” he said, adding he expects water levels to drop around the beginning of July.
“There’s no particularly aggressive weather this week so I think we’ll see some steady increases in the Columbia but I don’t think we’ll see any really big changes. If there are any localized issues those will persist for the coming week, if not few weeks.”
Public works manager Larry Abenante said the river is supposed to rise another foot over the course of the week but should begin to decline next week.
The Indian Eddy dock down by the boat launch is closed until water levels drop. Although the dock has undergone strain and buckling, Abenante said there won’t be any permanent structural damage.
At the River Forecast’s monitoring site upriver, Campbell said water levels are normal for this time of year, so anything further downstream causing the increase is likely due to local inflows and higher snowmelt rates along the river.
Besides the rainy forecasts, lower temperatures have been a factor in the late start to the melt.
“In some ways the coolness is also part of the problem — we haven’t melted as much of the snow because its been so cool.”
The weather forecast for Trail isn’t looking very bright either — it’s expected to rain every day this week, which will add to rising water levels.