Rains provide some drought relief for the state

Rains provide some drought relief for the state

Alabama received some much needed rainfall over the past two weeks in the midst of a severe drought, providing some relief, but not as much as needed.

The rain allowed Gov. Robert Bentley to lift the statewide burn ban, but reservoirs across Alabama still need more rain to fully recover.

Through water management practices, Alabama Power used the rain to restore most of its lakes to normal winter levels, but the rivers and streams that feed into the lakes are still in need of additional rainfall.

Short-term rainfall forecasts from the National Weather Service are promising, showing higher probabilities of wetter than normal conditions. Alabama Power employees will continue to closely monitor conditions on the lakes and carefully manage the limited water resources.

Alabama Power has been implementing its drought plan since June 21. After the drought of 2007, the company worked with state and federal agencies to put plans in place to conserve water on reservoirs during prolonged dry times.

“As one of the largest water managers in the state, we have been taking extra precautions for several months, with assistance from our agency partners,” said Alabama Power Reservoir Management Manager Alan Peeples. “As bad as the drought has been on our reservoirs, our drought plan has worked as designed to help mitigate the impacts.”

The drought has been called a “flash drought” by Alabama’s state climatologist due to the sudden onset of high temperatures and lack of rainfall that occurred across the state from September to November.

The lakes are normally scheduled to reach winter pool levels around the end of fall, and then rise again during the late winter or early spring.

For details about Alabama Power lakes, visit the Shorelines website 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) for updates.

Related Stories