As we mentioned yesterday, a little rain would do returning salmon a big favor by filling rivers and streams so they can get home to spawn. Fortunately, there is a very good chance of rain in our forecast.
And though we’re about a foot short of the average precipitation so far this year, KEA’s Darron Scott says Terror Lake, where two – and soon three – hydroelectric turbines are located, is doing good – so far.
“Well, Terror Lake is in about the same position it was last year. The only thing is we still had some snow last year, and we have very little snow left to melt. So it would be good to see some rain for the lake level, but right now the lake level is doing okay, especially with this dry summer we’ve had.”
The maximum height for water at Terror Lake is 1,420 feet above sea level, and Scott says it’s currently at 1,400 even. Though that 20-feet doesn’t sound like much, it represents 17,000 acre-feet, or 5.5-billion gallons, of water.
All that water will be necessary when KEA’s third hydroelectric turbine is fired up later this year.
“This we’re concreting in some of the components, so basically it gets to be set in stone now. And starting to build the unit out in the next few weeks and still looking to being on line later on this fall.”
Scott says the new turbine will mostly come into play when handling peak power months, like February, and doesn’t expect it to use a full third of the water coming from the lake.
He added that the latest three wind turbines on Pillar Mountain have been doing well, and contributing to the power grid, despite the mild summer.
“I’m really happy we went forward with those. We accelerated a couple years ago to get those online before the third turbine at Terror Lake. The original plan was to get them on line after it. But it’s been very fortunate, especially with this lack of rain. So they’ve been operating very well and meeting or beating all our expectations.”
Meanwhile, Kodiak City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski told the council that for now, the community’s water supply is in good shape.
“We might wanting to get a little more attentive if we go for another month with no rainfall, which is probably unlikely. But I know that people that have lived here a long time did experience some drought-type conditions perhaps in the past. We’ve got plenty of water, and everybody can continue to do what they need to do.”
The weather forecast for Kodiak is calling for a chance of rain through Wednesday afternoon, with rain likely through Friday.