“Extremely dry conditions have recently developed across many parts of Alabama and are having a significant impact on Alabama Power reservoirs,” said Keisa Sharpe, a spokeswoman for Alabama Power.
She said many streams that feed Alabama Power lakes are approaching record low levels of flow for this time of year, particularly in the Coosa and Tallapoosa river basins.
Logan Martin Lake is one of several Alabama Power reservoirs along the Coosa River basin.
Logan Martin Lake’s level increased about a half foot over the weekend, but Sharpe said the increase was due to work upstream at Weiss Dam.
When Alabama Power began raising Logan Martin Lake’s level April 1, the reservoir was about a half-foot below the normal winter pool level, which is 460 feet above sea level. The summer pool level for Logan Martin is 465 feet above sea level.
According to the Alabama Power website, Logan Martin Lake is currently just above 462 feet above sea level, about 2 feet above the normal winter level. Logan Martin Lake normally reaches full pool during the first week of May.
“Since last year, Alabama Power has taken a number of steps in preparation for dry conditions normally associated with La Nina weather events,” Sharpe said.
She said as conditions worsened during the past three weeks, Alabama Power took additional steps to try and fill its reservoirs.
Sharpe said Alabama Power has significantly reduced hydro generation releases in an effort to preserve as much water as possible in the lakes.
“The company has requested FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) approval for a reduction in required minimum flow releases from Jordan Dam on the Coosa River,” she said.
Sharpe also said Alabama Power is reducing its flows to the Alabama River by 20 percent in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Even with these efforts, all of Alabama Power’s lakes on the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers may not reach full pool by the beginning of summer,” Sharpe said.
She said Alabama Power will try to keep lake communities and the public informed about dry conditions and the impact on hydro operations.
“Alabama Power will continue to work with federal and state agencies to monitor the developing drought conditions and develop responses that protect water quality, wildlife and navigation to the fullest possible extent,” Sharpe said.
Alabama Power officials say people with boats and other water-related equipment and facilities should be alert to conditions on and below Alabama Power reservoirs, and take the necessary steps to protect their property.
For the latest on lake levels, including Logan Martin Lake, visit www.alabamapower.com and click the “Lake Conditions” link on the left side of the page. Lake information is also available by calling Alabama Power’s automated Reservoir Information System at 1-800-LAKES11 (1-800-525-3711).
Contact David Atchison at email@example.com.