Kendra Harnden/Herald-Chronicle
Water levels more than 10 feet above normal restricted access this week at Management Park boat ramp at Pomona Lake.

Jeremy Gaston | Sports Editor

The county has seen plenty of rain this month, much of it falling quickly and flooding low-lying roads and poorly drained intersections. The run off from those flash floods, however, creates more long-term flooding in the county’s two reservoirs.

As of Tuesday, Pomona and Melvern lakes remained several feet above their normal stage, closing boat ramps at Pomona and beaches at both reservoirs.

“We’ve had three pretty intense wet periods this spring, on three separate incidents,” said Brad Cox, Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) park manager at Pomona Lake. “It’s kind of a struggle for us.”

All but two of the boat ramps at Pomona Lake were closed last weekend, which was 10 feet above the normal level at 984 feet Tuesday. Cox anticipated most of those ramps would be open by this weekend.

“We’re dropping about half a foot a day at this release rate,” Cox said. “We don’t have a lot of impacts, other than the swim beach, the boat ramps and a few camp sites. It does affect our boat ramps, for sure.”

With lost of sunny, warm air in the forecast, and an outflow of 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), the lake is expected to be at its normal level sometime next week.

“We hope to be down by the Fourth of July,” Cox said.

At Melvern Lake, lower lake levels and lesser rains have allowed all of the boat ramps to remain open. The lake’s level of 1,042 feet, six feet above normal, does close the Coeur d' Alene beach.

“We’ll still be closed this weekend, unless they allow us to discharge more,” said Donna Roberts, administrative officer for Melvern Lake ACE. “That all depends on what goes on downstream.”

The outflow at Melvern matches Pomona at 1,000 cfs, but only reduces the pool about half as much, around three inches a day, according to Roberts.

The high water creates an inconvenience to those looking to use the lakes for recreation, but Cox reminds everyone that the lakes are merely serving their primary purpose.

“That’s what we’re here for,” Cox said. “When you have flooding, you want to clean it up, but we’re here to take it on, and prevent that flooding from happening downstream.”