[UPDATED as of 3 p.m. 2/28]
Due to heavy rains, the water level at Lake Poway is nearing the concrete spillway that is designed to divert excess water into the canyon below.
City staff is closely monitoring the water level of the lake and estimate that with the region’s natural watershed runoff, water could flow over the spillway early Wednesday morning. Since initial monitoring began Tuesday morning, the inflow rate of water into the lake slowed substantially and there is a possibility the water level may not reach the spillway.
The spillway is a 100-foot wide span of concrete located on the east side of the dam. The spillway is designed to provide a safe route to divert excess water from the lake. City crews are working to lower the lake’s water level by diverting water to the City’s drinking water system. The dam was inspected this morning and it remains structurally sound. Staff will continue to inspect and monitor the condition of the dam.
The City will be utilizing the regional notification system, AlertSanDiego, to notify the limited number of affected residents. To sign up for alerts, go to www.readysandiego.org.
If water flows over the spillway, it will enter the canyon north of the Lake Poway Dam. That area is low-lying and includes natural creek beds. The flow path of the water is into the canyon, through parts of the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, under Old Coach Road, along Thomson Creek adjacent to Maderas Golf Course and ultimately into Lake Hodges.
In the interest of the public’s safety, the following areas will be closed until further notice:
• Lake Poway hiking trails
• Blue Sky Ecological Preserve
The last time water flowed over the spillway from Lake Poway was 1997. The overflow lasted one week and there were no reported injuries to people or damage to property attributed to the high water level.
For additional information, the public may contact City of Poway Public Works at (858) 668-4700 during business hours, or (858) 668-4751 after hours.