Lake Coeur d'Alene slowly creeping toward flood stage

Author: Anusha Roy, KXLY4 Reporter, anushar@kxly.com
Published On: Apr 27 2012 06:32:33 PM PDT
Lake Coeur d'Alene flood debris
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

Lake Coeur d'Alene is very close to hitting flood stage, and when it does a No Wake Zone immediately kicks in for the lake, Fernan Lake and downstream along the Spokane River.

Usually when Paxton looks out her back door it's a scenic and peaceful view. Not today.

"Oh my gosh that is the river. It is just like a traffic sound it's very, very loud," Jeanette Paxton said.

Now she's just one of many people watching for flooding along the Spokane River and Lake Coeur d'Alene.

"It's just risen; you almost hate to look out every few hours because it's come up really quickly."

While Harbor Island residents fill sandbags and other residents at the river's edge play an anxious waiting game authorities are keeping a close on the water levels as they continue to rise.

The Kootenai County Sheriff is preparing to put a No Wake Zone into effect along the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene and the Spokane River. One is already in effect upstream on the Coeur d'Alene River.

When the No Wake Zone goes into effect - and right now its not a question of if but of when - that means boaters will have to go five miles per hour or less and make sure they don't make waves or ripples larger than four inches.

Over at the 3rd Street Boat Launch there's already a water over roadway sign and you can see a part of the ramp is underwater. This weekend Kootenai County deputies plan on keeping an eye on boaters.

This is important to prevent erosion, protect property and for safety.

"We have a lot of floating debris out there. We've been getting a lot of calls about partial docks and logs," Kootenai County Deputy Timothy Leeder said.

If you don't comply with the No Wake Zone it's a misdemeanor.

The conditions are constantly changing right now. The Coeur d'Alene River is dropping off and the lake could crest at a lower level than expected. Now all Jeanette Paxton and all the residents along the lake and river can do is wait and see what happens.

"Mother Nature has the final say," Paxton said.