The possibility of a breach is looming at Eight Mile Lake Dam, southwest of Leavenworth. Icicle and Peshastin Irrigation District manager Tony Jantzer told KPQ news this morning he had just returned from an aerial survey of the dam and snowmelt has pushed the lake level over the top of the dam’s earthen sections.
Jantzer said a check of the level on Friday revealed the level had risen about 18 inches since then.
Chelan County emergency management officials were not available for comment but flooding would threaten homes and campgrounds downstream in the Icicle Creek basin down to the Wenatchee River.
The district is trying to get an excavator to the site this week to strengthen the earthen section before the water gets too deep and washed the sections away.
Thousands of acres surrounding the lake and 1920’s era dam were burned bare by last summer’s Jack Creek Fire. The lack of vegetation and scorched soils that cannot absorb moisture, plus a rapid snowmelt are adding to the increased volume of water. The Irrigation Districts declared an emergency earlier this year to accelerate the permitting process to begin replacement work this summer.