Town of Pinedale update: Pine Creek potential flooding information
by Town of Pinedale
March 30, 2017
It has been a unique weather year for Wyoming, with a record amount of snow. When snow melts from the Wind River Mountains it drains into Fremont Lake, where it is stored and then discharged from a controlled spillway into Pine Creek.
Fremont Lake is a natural lake with usable storing, or draining, of less than 4 feet. The dam was designed for water storage and was never intended for effective flood control.
Since February water has been increasingly discharged from the lake spillway in an effort to make as much room as possible for increased snowmelt. The lake is currently receiving about 40-50 cubic feet per second (cfs) from Pine Creek above the lake and the lake spillway is being drained at about 285 cfs. With the current inflow and outflow the lake is decreasing about a tenth of a foot every day. As can be seen, this small 230 cfs difference can change the lake height one foot in 10 days.
Inflows to the lake could exceed 2,000 cfs for extended periods of time this spring and summer. Already, with 60 years of flow data we are receiving record inflows for Fremont Lake. Lat Straley, the ditch rider, is closely monitoring the weather, climate, lake levels, and flow data to adjust the outflow spillway in an attempt to minimize the risks of flooding this spring and summer.
Additional updates will be provided on our website and information can be found at the following websites:
State Engineers Flow Data: http://seoflow.wyo.gov/Data
National Weather Service Updates: http://www.weather.gov/riw/
Water flow information can be found at USGS: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?09196500