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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Albeni Falls Dam
2376 E. Highway 2
Oldtown, ID 83822

208-437-3133 (Main)

208-437-4617 (Visitor Center)

 

 

Albeni Falls Dam

Albeni Falls DamAlbeni Falls Dam was authorized for construction under the Flood Control Act of 1950. This Act was signed by the United States Congress in response to a great flood that swept over the river valleys of the Columbia basin in 1948. Albeni Falls Dam was built from January 1951 to December of 1955 at a total cost of $34 million.

The dam is made up of two different parts: the powerhouse and the spillway. The powerhouse contains powerful turbines and generators that convert gravity-driven river water into hydroelectricity. The spillway can either store water for downstream power production and irrigation at other dams along the Pend Oreille and Columbia Rivers, or release water for upstream flood control. There is 136,000 cubic yards (61 million pounds) of concrete in the structure.

Today, it produces over 200 million kilowatt hours of electrical energy each year. When running at top capacity, the three Kaplan generators can generate 42.6 megawatts. That's enough power to supply about 15,000 homes. Bonneville Power Administration markets this electricity to customers primarily in the Pacific Northwest. This power production saves the United States from buying about 4.9 million barrels f imported oil each year.

Lake Pend Oreille (Ponderay)

Lake Pend Oreille is one of the largest and deepest natural lakes in North America. Spanning near 150 square miles, it extends through a glacially carved, U-shaped valley that separates three lofty mountain ranges-the Cabinets, Selkirks and Coeur d’ Alenes. Rimmed by these mountains that rise over 6,500 feet, the lake’s average depth is 545 feet, but in some areas plunges to a depth of 1,237 feet.

The shoreline of the combined Lake Pend Oreille and the Pend Oreille River is 226 miles. It’s length 68 miles, with a maximum width of 6 ½ miles.

The name “Pend Oreille” derives from the French name for a local tribe of Indians that wore pendant ornaments in their earlobes.

Flow Update

September 21, 2020

Lake Pend Oreille elevation at Hope: 2,062.14 feet

Albeni Falls Dam outflow: 11,000 cubic feet per second

 

Current changes and highlights:

- Today, Monday September 21, 2020, Albeni Falls Dam will begin Fall drawdown.

- Albeni Falls Dam outflow will increase from 11 kcfs to 12.5 kcfs on Monday morning, September 21st, at 10:00 PDT.

 

The fall drawdown of Lake Pend Oreille begins today, September 21. The Fall 2020 lake elevation targets are:

-  Maintain 2,061 feet through Sept. 27

-  Target 2,060-2,061 feet by Sept. 30

-  Target 2,051-2,051.5 feet by Nov. 15

 

Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide further details on Albeni Falls Dam operations at a joint Corps and Lakes Commission public meeting on October 20th from 10:00-13:00 PDT.  Corps topics will cover current and upcoming operations, to include the fall draft; lake level coordination; weather forecasts; recreation information and a topical question-and-answer period.  The meeting will have in-person and virtual options for attendance. Meeting location information and virtual attendance registration are available at this link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sS4EiQeDTbST-JefksCzZg

 

Short term modeling forecasts are provided by the Northwest River Forecast Center.  Their projections for Albeni Falls Dam inflow, outflow and Lake Pend Oreille elevation at the Hope gage can be found here:
http://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/river/station/flowplot/flowplot.cgi?lid=ALFW1

Projections for future operations at Albeni Falls Dam can be found here:
http://www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nws/hh/www/pend_esp.html

 

 

 

 

More Information

Around the Project

Albeni Falls Dam Spillway in the Spring
Clark Fork Driftyard in the Fall
Park Ranger Andrew Huddleston Presenting an Interpretive Program at Springy Point Recreation Area
Osprey  in Tree Eating a Fish at Albeni Falls Dam
Moose Swimming in the Clark Fork Driftyard
Overhead View of Albeni Falls Dam
Fall Foliage at Albeni Falls Dam
Winter Shot of Albeni Falls Dam taken from Powerhouse parking lot
Park Rangers Participate in Safety Day at Idaho Hill Elementary
Park Attendant Overlooking Pend Oreille River at Site 13 at Albeni Cove