Jessica Cejnar / Tuesday, Jan. 12 @ 12:22 p.m. / Weather

With 4-6 Inches Of Rain Forecasted, Supervisors Green Lights County's Plan To Breach Lakes Earl, Tolowa


Del Norte County Roads Division employee Tristan Smith uses a Caterpillar to breach Lake Earl in this 2020 file photo. File photo: Jessica Cejnar

With lagoon levels at about 8.75 feet as of Monday and more rain in the forecast, supervisors green lit a request to breach lakes Earl and Tolowa.

The 4-6 inches of rain forecast for Del Norte County could bring  lagoon levels to over 9 feet, Community Development Director Heidi Kunstal told supervisors on Tuesday. This would mean flooding along Kellogg and Lower Lake roads and in the Pacific Shores subdivision, she said.

"Obviously before the next board meeting agenda, the lake will be well beyond that 9 foot elevation," Kunstal said.

The Board of Supervisors, which also acts as the Del Norte Flood Control District Board, approved a joint resolution declaring an emergency. As a result, county staff can apply for the permits needed to legally breach the lagoon, Kunstal said.

Kunstal's report came in the middle of a National Weather Service-declared flood watch. With 4-6 inches of rain possible across Del Norte through Wednesday, the NWS warned that small streams and creeks could rise dramatically and overflow their banks.

The National Weather Service also warned of rock slides along mountain roads as well as gusty winds that could bring down trees.


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