Vale, Oregon -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation want the public to be aware that higher than normal water levels are anticipated in the Malheur River this spring.
Officials advise the public to be aware of risks associated with flood season. The water is deep, cold and fast. Extreme caution should be used near the riverbanks. A flow rate of approximately 3,820 cubic feet per second, or a river stage of 19.5 feet, at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) gauge “Malheur River Below Nevada Dam Near Vale OR” is considered flood-stage level on the Malheur River.
Streamflows have increased this week as warmer temperatures begin to melt the snowpack in the basin. As of April 13, the Malheur River basin has received 111% of normal precipitation since October 1, and the snowpack in the basin is 215% of normal according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
USACE and Reclamation help manage three dams on the Malheur River as a system for flood risk management and irrigation storage needs – Warm Springs Dam, Agency Valley Dam (Beulah Reservoir), and Bully Creek Dam. Currently, Warm Springs Reservoir is 30% of capacity, Beulah Reservoir is 53% of capacity, and Bully Creek Reservoir is 95% of capacity.
For current river flow and water storage information, visit https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/owytea.html.
Release no. 23-030