How to stay safe at The Preserves and on Alabama Power lakes

How to stay safe at The Preserves and on Alabama Power lakes
Lake Martin is expected to reach its summer pool around April 18. (file)

The Preserves, Alabama Power’s network of five day-use parks and more than 65 public access sites on the company’s 12 reservoirs are open for Alabamians to safely enjoy during the coronavirus crisis. But safety is the top priority: Visitors to Alabama Power recreation facilities, and people getting out on the lakes, should strictly follow government recommendations and health guidelines for safe social distancing.

To protect public health and safety, Alabama Power has temporarily closed restrooms at all recreation sites and the playground facilities at Beeswax on Lay Lake and Double Cove on Logan Martin Lake. The company’s Shorelines offices also are closed temporarily. Individuals or businesses seeking shoreline construction permits can submit information online.

“We want everyone to be safe, and that means following the guidelines established by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” said Sheila Smith, Alabama Power land supervisor. “People who enjoy boating on our lakes also need to practice safe social distancing and other recommended measures to protect themselves and the public.”

The state’s stay-at-home order, issued Friday, allows Alabamians to leave home to enjoy outdoor activities, as long as they involve fewer than 10 people and individuals maintain a consistent, six-foot distance from each other. So, safe and healthy recreation at Alabama Power lakes and recreation facilities can still be enjoyed as long as people comply with the provisions of the state order.

After a record-setting winter rainy season, Alabama Power lakes are at normal levels for this time of year and rising toward their typical summer elevations. Smith Lake on the Black Warrior River reached its summer level on March 31. On the Coosa River, Weiss and Neely Henry lakes are expected to reach summer levels by May 1, with Logan Martin expected to reach summer pool by May 8. On the Tallapoosa River, Lake Harris is expected to reach its summer level by May 1, with Lake Martin expected to reach summer pool around April 18. Information about current lake levels is available at https://apcshorelines.com/.

With the warmer weather, and with people seeking healthy recreation options during the COVID-19 crisis, there is increased activity on Alabama waterways. “We want to remind everyone who enjoys our lakes to please obey boating safety rules in addition to maintaining safe social distancing and following all the guidelines to protect public health,” Smith said. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is also advising safe practices on Alabama rivers and lakes.

To learn more about recreational opportunities around Alabama Power reservoirs, please visit https://apcshorelines.com/recreation/. The company offers a printable Lake Safety Resource Guide to help people stay safe while on the water. More information about the company’s Shoreline Management operations can be found at https://apcshorelines.com/shoreline-management/.

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