June 12, 2002
IJC acts to mitigate flooding in Rainy watershed
In light of the unprecedented rainfall since June 10, 2002, and potential for
damage in the Rainy River and Rainy Lake watershed, the International Joint
Commission (IJC) acted today to provide direction on how the outflows from
Rainy Lake will be regulated. The IJC wishes to minimize any damage from high
water levels in both portions of the watershed.
The outflow from Rainy Lake is regulated at dams operated by the Boise Cascade
Corporation and Abitibi Consolidated under a January 2001 Consolidated Order
issued by the IJC. The IJC’s International Rainy Lake Board of Control oversees
operations of the dam to insure compliance with the IJC’s Order.
The International Rainy Lake Board of Control has briefed the IJC as high water
conditions have developed on the Rainy River and Rainy Lake. The Rainy Lake
water level of 337.90 metres (1108.6 feet), at which the Order calls for all
gates at the dams to be fully open, has been exceeded. Currently seven out of
the 15 gates are open. This setting has not been increased because communities
on the Rainy River face an immediate threat of innundation.
Today the IJC issued a
that authorizes outflow deviations
until June 20, 2002, and directs the International Rainy Lake Board of Control
endeavor to bring the flows within the requirements of the Consolidated Order
(all gates open) as soon as practicable, taking into account conditions
upstream and downstream, and conditions at the dams. The International Rainy
Lake Board of Control will continue to keep the IJC advised of conditions in
the watershed on an ongoing basis.
The International Joint Commission regulates the levels of Rainy and Namakan
Lakes under the 1938 Convention for Emergency Regulation of Rainy Lake and
Boundary Waters in the Rainy Lake Watershed. For more information, visit our
IJC U.S. Section Secretary
IJC Canadian Section Secretary