Heavy rains continue; Alabama Power lake levels rising

Heavy rains continue; Alabama Power lake levels rising
Alabama Power dams, like this one on Lake Logan Martin, are operating spillway gates due to heavy rains. (Alabama Power)

Heavy rains last week elevated Alabama Power lake levels, and rain this week is expected to push up lake levels even further in some locations.

Alabama Power managing reservoirs amid heavy rains from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Nearly 4 inches of rain has fallen in parts of the Warrior, Tallapoosa and Coosa river basins so far in February.  And more wet weather is in the forecast – an additional 3-7 inches through Sunday.

Most of north and central Alabama remain under a flood watch through Tuesday evening.

Some of the spillway gates at Lay Dam are open as Alabama Power engineers manage storage reservoirs to lessen the impact downstream. (Dennis Washington / Alabama NewsCenter)
Heading into this week’s rain event, some Alabama Power storage reservoirs on the Coosa, Tallapoosa and Black Warrior rivers were already at levels higher than normal for this time of year. Spillway gates are operating at some dams, and more spillway gates are expected to be opened as rains continue.

Weiss and Logan Martin lakes on the Coosa, as well as Smith Lake on the Black Warrior River, are expected to exceed summer levels this week.

Also, because of the heavy rains, the first Renew Our Rivers cleanup planned for this year has been rescheduled, from Feb. 15 to June 6. The cleanup was scheduled to take place on the Alabama River at Swift Creek Landing in Autaugaville.

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 all the recent rain, and more to come, individuals 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 www.apcshorelines.com. Individuals can also call 1-800-LAKES 11 (1-800-525-3711) for lake condition updates.

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