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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, April 9, 2012
Sandra Romero, Thurston County Commissioner, 360-786-5440
Jeff Norton, Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, 360-704-8456

Unusually High Water Levels Prompt Speed Restrictions on Lake St. Claire

OLYMPIA - Thurston County Commissioners have approved a resolution, temporarily lowering the maximum speed that a boat can travel on Lake St. Claire to 5-miles-per-hour. The lower speed limit is intended to avoid damage to the lake shoreline while water levels are extraordinarily high.

County Commissioners recently received a number of requests from Lake St. Claire residents to restrict speed on the lake due to high water levels and the potential for damage to near shoreline properties and shoreline erosion. Commissioner Sandra Romero says taking this step will help limit damage. "We have taken this step in the past under similar conditions and it was very helpful. This is only temporary and we can relax the restriction when water levels go back to normal."

County staff has made a preliminary recommendation that restrictions remain in place until May 21st or when the water level reaches 69.9 feet or lower, whichever comes first. A public hearing to consider whether the emergency restrictions should continue and to set a firm date when the emergency restrictions will expire will be held on April 24, 2012 at 3:00 PM in Room 280, Building One of the Thurston County Courthouse.

Jeff Norton of the Thurston County Sheriff's Office says the Sheriff's Marine Patrol will step up patrols of Lake St. Claire to help ensure that boaters are complying with the temporary speed reduction. "We will primarily focus on education, reminding boaters of the reduced speed limit and explaining why it is important."

Notice of the 5 mph speed limit on Lake St. Claire will be published in the official county newspaper and posted at the public access on Lake St. Claire.


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3