Northern Saskatchewan summer high water update

Rainfall Northern Saskatchewan has received extremely high cumulative precipitation since April 1, 2020, resulting in very high flows and lake levels across the Churchill River and Lower Saskatchewan River basins.  In general, cumulative rainfall since April 1, 2020, is near record.

As shown in the map below, rainfall over an area from Little Bear Lake over to Creighton has recorded more than 400 mm of rainfall since April 1.  Rainfall over the past three days generally ranged from 10-20 mm with higher amounts where thunderstorms occurred, such as near Trade Lake where accumulations of 40 mm were observed.

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High river and lake levels can be expected for the remainder of summer and in some cases, such as the mainstem of the Churchill River, into the fall and winter.  In most areas flows and water levels are expected to peak, or have peaked, slightly lower than previous historical highs.  However, flows and levels in the Lower Churchill River, including Reindeer River and Churchill River near Sandy Bay, have exceed previous historical highs.

Below are specific conditions at various locations as well as projected future peak levels.

Meeting Lake

Meeting Lake has received approximately 275-300 mm of Precipitation since April 1 ,2020 (~150 per cent normal)

July 22, 2020 lake level is 739.48 m

Outlet spill elevation is 739.23 m (25 cm lower than current lake level)

Meeting Lake has reached its outlet and is confirmed flowing into outlet channel

There is not significant flow moving through outlet currently as it is congested with thick vegetation.

Berms around the lake should now be built to WSA recommended standard (739.83-740 m)

Local contractor is putting finishing touches on last berms currently (riprap, granular tops)

Ile a la Crosse:

Present elevation: 421.06 m (potentially elevated by wind setup)
Estimated peak: 421.1 m on or near July 28, 2020

Sandy Bay:

Present Elevation: 9.93 m (2320 m3/s)

Forecasted peak: 10.23 m (2440 m3/s) on or near August 15

Lac La Ronge:

La Ronge current elevation: 364.81 m

Projected peak: 364.87 m on or near August 14, 2020

Sandy Bay:

Present Elevation: 9.93 m (2320 m3/s)

Forecasted peak: 10.23 m (2440 m3/s) on or near August 15

Cumberland House:

Present Elevation: 267.75 as of 8:00 AM July 24, 2020

Forecasted peak: Peak observed on July 23, 2020

Future Rainfall Light rain over the Reindeer Lake area is expected today as the system that had been impacting northern Saskatchewan makes its way into Manitoba.  Additional rainfall is expected over the weekend with central areas of the Churchill Basin expected to receive the highest accumulations with general accumulations of 10-20 mm expected and localized higher amounts within thunderstorms.

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