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Water Levels Rise

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LOST CREEK LAKE, Ore. – The Rogue Valley experiences one of its highest rainfall totals in 50 years and it has officials hoping to prevent flooding.

The National Weather Service says in the past week, Southern Oregon has received a quarter of the amount they normally get in a whole year. Officials at Lost Creek Lake were forced to limit the amount of water they released, in order to prevent flooding.

In the past six days, Southern Oregon has received more than five inches of rain, which is a quarter of what they receive in an entire year. It’s caused creek and river levels to rise to near flood stage, but steps are in place to try to limit any widespread flooding.

At the reservoir at Lost Creek Lake, officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has to cut the release to 500 cubic feet per second; it’s the first time they had to do that in 10 years. Officials said they had the extra space in the reservoir to hold the water, so the lake rose 10 feet, while the flow of the Rogue River was controlled. The hydrologist at the National Weather Service says if this had been a year with a significant snow pack, the amount of flooding would be higher.

The five inches of rain in the past week is the largest 6-day total since 1964. The Weather Service says the rain has not done anything for the coming water year. They said that depends more on a significant snow pack, which the region has still not built up.