Heavy rains to continue; Alabama Power lake levels rising

Heavy rains to continue; Alabama Power lake levels rising
Lay Lake Dam is releasing excessive water from heavy rains. (Alabama NewsCenter)

Heavy rains this week have elevated Alabama Power lake levels, and rain this weekend is expected to push lake levels even higher in some locations.

More than 3 inches of rain have fallen in parts of the Upper Coosa River basin in the past 48 hours. And more wet weather is in the forecast – an additional 1-2 inches through Sunday.

Most of north and central Alabama remains under a flood watch through Friday morning.

The rain has resulted in some Alabama Power storage reservoirs on the Coosa and Black Warrior rivers reaching summer pool levels or higher. Consistent with flood operations, spillgates are operating at some lakes. Here’s the breakdown at 10 a.m. Friday and forecasts as current models indicate:

  • Weiss Lake is above summer pool level and may continue to rise to 570 feet by this weekend. Spillgates are operating.
  • Smith Lake is expected to approach summer pool early next week.
  • Logan Martin Lake will rise above summer pool and could reach an elevation of up to 470 feet by early next week. Spillgates are operating. Alabama Power continues to coordinate operations with the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

In addition to the low-cost power provided by Alabama Power’s hydroelectric dams, storage reservoirs like Weiss and Smith lakes give Alabama Power the ability to help manage the flow of water during times of heavy rain.

“One of the benefits of our storage reservoirs is the ability to lessen the impact downstream during high flow events,” said Alan Peeples, reservoir management manager for Alabama Power.

Lake elevations are always subject to change. With the recent rains, and more to come, people with boats and other water-related equipment and facilities should stay alert to changing conditions on Alabama Power reservoirs and be prepared to take steps to protect their property.

For more information about Alabama Power lakes and alerts on lake conditions, download the Smart Lakes app for your smartphone or visit apcshorelines.com. Individuals can call 1-800-LAKES 11 (1-800-525-3711) for lake condition updates.

NOTE: This story was updated Friday, Feb. 22 at 10:53 a.m. with updated lake level forecasts. 

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