Many water lovers will be getting their last days of the year on the lake this Labor Day weekend, but at Lake Martin they can enjoy higher lake levels for a few more weeks.
Higher-than-normal rainfall this summer will enable Alabama Power to keep the level of Lake Martin higher for a few extra weeks into the fall.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s new 30-year license for Martin Dam allows the company to extend summer water levels at Lake Martin into mid-October, when conditions allow it.
Water levels at Lake Martin and Lake Harris, on the Tallapoosa River, and Weiss, Logan Martin and Neely Henry lakes on the Coosa River, as well as water flows in the Coosa and Tallapoosa river basins, are the factors evaluated by the company to determine whether higher levels can be maintained at Lake Martin beyond Sept. 1.
Based on current conditions, the company will begin implementing the conditional fall extension (CFE) on Lake Martin immediately. The CFE will remain in effect through Oct. 15. During this time, the lake level will be held as high as possible, up to summer pool, depending on water availability.
In a normal year, Lake Martin water levels begin to drop around Sept. 1, falling to winter pool level around the middle of November. The lake is kept low through the new year so it can capture and store winter rains. The lake then begins to rise in early spring, hitting full summer level around the end of April. 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.
Alabama Power has 14 hydroelectric facilities on the Coosa, Tallapoosa and Black Warrior rivers, producing low-cost, clean energy for customers. For more information visit www.apcshorelines.com, or call 1-800-LAKES 11 (1-800-525-3711) for lake condition updates.