The Columbia River upstream of Rock Island Dam (which includes the Wenatchee riverfront) will be temporarily lowered up to four feet Friday afternoon as the PUD runs tests on one of its refurbished power generating units at Rock Island Dam. Drawdown of the river will begin about 11 a.m. and proceed gradually until the lowest level is reached about 1 p.m. and be maintained for approximately one hour. The river level then will gradually be raised starting at 2 p.m., and the test should be completed by 4 p.m. when the river should be back up. Dam plant manager Tom Treat says the tests will affect boaters and other river user groups.
Chelan PUD is authorized by its federal operating license to lower the reservoir to these levels for its hydropower operations, which occurs occasionally. The testing of the refurbished unit at Rock Island Dam is important as the PUD calculates potential generating revenues and other power management options.