Fear: Dam Work Needed May Cause Lake to Over Flow

A vibration in the Lake Isabella Dam is causing authorities in charge to plan a shut-down of the water release that has been underway for days now.

Releasing water from the lake is the only way the Army Corps of Engineers say they can make room for the massive snow melt that is expected in the next few days as temperatures hit 90 and above. Such an out-flow of water could cause the Kern river to overflow and residents who live near the lakes, rivers and canals words that such a break of the dam could cause flooding down stream. However the engineers say stopping the release of water is the only way to make necessary repairs inside the dam.

Currently the flow of water out of the dam is about 6,100 cubic feet per second, and is sitting at 265 thousand feet. At The beginning of the month the level was at 135 thousand acre feet, and at its maximum level the lake can hold 568 thousand acre feet.

Stopping the flow through the dam would be counter to earlier plans by the lake level managers to leave enough room for the snow to melt over the summer which would keep the lake full, but not so full than an overflow would be likely and cause flooding. But we all know the old adage about “…the best laid plans”… and only time will tell for those who live in low lying areas that have flooded with a lot less water raining down on them. Currently, the Lake can only hold about 200,000 acre feet more.

 -Tony Lee