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Spokane, Wash., September 9// -- Avista Utilities will begin lowering the water level at Lake Coeur d'Alene and the Spokane River behind Post Falls Dam on Sept. 15. Avista manages the lake level to prepare for spring runoff, to mitigate flooding in the winter and to optimize power production. The drawdown will take several months to complete.
"Depending on weather conditions, the lake will be lowered from its current summer elevation of near 2,128 feet to 2,122 feet by the end of December at a rate of 1.5 feet per month," said Steve Esch, Avista Utilities senior operations engineer.
The Idaho Department of Water Resources announced that the annual drawdown of Priest Lake will commence on October 2 and is expected to drop three feet reaching its winter level by early November.
Shoreline owners and boaters should be aware of the annual draft so they can make any necessary preparations, including removing boats from water and securing docks for low-water conditions.
Spokane River users are urged to use extra caution as water levels may change quickly. This warning applies to all areas of the river, especially in the vicinity of hydroelectric facilities.
Avista Corp. has a 24-hour telephone information line that provides notification of anticipated elevation changes on Lake Coeur d'Alene, Lake Spokane and the Spokane River during the subsequent 24-hour and one-week periods. In Idaho, call (208) 769-1357; in Washington call (509) 495-8043.
The recorded information is provided to advise shoreline property owners, commercial and recreational users of changes in the lake and river elevation levels that may affect plans for water use.
By obeying warning signs, using common sense and following area rules and regulations, boaters, swimmers and other recreational users can safely enjoy the Inland Northwest's scenic waterways.
With changing water levels, it is important to exercise extra caution when recreating on area waterways. Always follow these safety tips:
. Be alert for debris, obstructions, and partially submerged objects.
. Always obey warning signs near dams such as: "Danger / Extreme Current / Stay Out, Stay Alive."
. Never cross boater restraining cables or buoy lines that designate areas where boats should not operate.
. Never anchor your boat below a dam water levels can change rapidly with little warning.
. If in a sailboat or catamaran, watch for overhead cables and power lines.
. Always wear personal flotation devices (PFDs), no matter what your age or swimming ability.
. Never operate watercraft under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is a company operating division that provides service to 330,000 electric and 285,000 natural gas customers in three western states. Avista's non-regulated subsidiaries include Avista Advantage and Avista Energy. Avista Corp.'s stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
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