VIDEO: Super High Water on Lake Tahoe & Truckee River, CA Explained

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“The lake level is forecast to go higher than what the lake is legally allowed to hold.” – John Mceldowney, emergency manager for Placer County, CA

Between now and August, Lake Tahoe, CA/NV is forecast to rise 2.7-feet!

Tahoe’s natural rim sits at 6,223′.  The legal limit for Lake Tahoe’s water level is 6-feet above the natural rim, ie 6,229.  The lake level is currently at 6,228.66′ – that’s 5.66′ above the natural rim and only .33′ below the legal limit.

Obviously, we can’t let that forecast 2.7′ water level rise to happen.  Thus, we’re experiencing large releases via the Tahoe City, CA dam right now.

Lake Tahoe water levels. Currently sitting at 6,228.66′.

The maximum release at the Tahoe City dam is 2,600 cubic feet per second.

600 cubic feet per second release in Lake Tahoe equates to 1 foot of lake level drop over 100 days.

So, you can see that it’s important to get ahead of this situation now before it gets out of hand and the water rises above the legal limit.

Flows will be much higher than normal this summer.

What happens if the lake goes above the legal limit?  From our understanding, the dam would be able to handle it, but the water level would begin to cause damage to shoreline landscapes and properties (ie lakeshore property flooding and damage).

It’s currently illegal to enter the Truckee river.  

It’s hoped that by July and August, river rafting will be allowed on the Truckee river.


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