Ongoing drought taking toll on Alabama Power lake levels

Ongoing drought taking toll on Alabama Power lake levels
Drought conditions are causing Alabama Power to limit water releases from its dams. (Winter Byrd / Alabama NewsCenter)

The drought affecting portions of Alabama continues to reduce flows in rivers and streams that feed Alabama Power’s lakes. The conditions have resulted in lower levels at Alabama Power reservoirs.

Scattered summer showers in July and early August helped slow the drop in lake levels. Since then, however, dry conditions have returned. Water levels at Weiss, Neely Henry, and Logan Martin lakes on the Coosa River, Harris and Martin lakes on the Tallapoosa River, and Smith Lake on the Black Warrior River are dropping and are expected to continue their decline.

In response to the dry conditions, Alabama Power has minimized water releases from its hydroelectric dams and suspended recreational releases from Jordan Dam on the Coosa River. The company is working with government agencies, municipalities, businesses and industry, and community groups to communicate about the efforts to conserve water.

The ongoing Alabama drought is causing limited releases, including recreational ones, from Alabama Power dams. (Winter Byrd / Alabama NewsCenter)
The ongoing Alabama drought is causing limited releases, including recreational ones, from Alabama Power dams. (Winter Byrd / Alabama NewsCenter)

The National Weather Service is forecasting lower-than-normal rainfall for the coming three months. Based on the forecast and current conditions, a potential fall extension of summer water levels at Lake Martin has not been implemented and is unlikely to take place during September. Updates on the likelihood of issuing a fall extension at Martin will be posted on the APC Shorelines website every Tuesday through Sept. 30.

Alabama Power will continue to closely monitor conditions on the lakes and manage the limited water resources carefully. Individuals with boats and other water-related equipment and facilities should always be alert to changing conditions on Alabama Power reservoirs and be prepared to take the necessary steps to protect their property.

For details about Alabama Power lakes, visit Shorelines or add the free Alabama Power Shorelines app to your mobile device. To view specific lake advisories, click on the lake name and then click the circular information icon. Individuals can also call Alabama Power’s automated Reservoir Information Line at 1-800-LAKES11 (1-800-525-3711).

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