Rain continued to fall on the Olympic Peninsula all last week, swelling the Elwha River and moving even more sediment downstream and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
On Saturday, December 2nd, stream flow peaked at just under 7,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) and turbidity, a measure of suspended sediment in the water, reached almost 1,600 FNU (Formazin Nephelometric Units). By comparison, stream flow averaged 800 cfs during the dry summer months and turbidity remained below 500 FNU.
The high flows and high turbidity are bringing dramatic changes to the Elwha. As the sediment moves downstream it is filling pools, creating new beaches, building sand bars, and reshaping the river.
Watch what happens as winter storms continue to erode decades of accumulated sediment from the former reservoirs at the Elwha Webcam site and the USGS stream gage monitoring site.
Click on the link below for more information about the Elwha River restoration project.