By Michael Sznajderman
Because of substantial rainfall this summer, Alabama Power will keep the water level higher for a few more weeks at Lake Martin.
Under the company’s federal operating license for Martin Dam, Alabama Power can extend summer water levels at Lake Martin into mid-October, when conditions allow it.
Following an evaluation, the company has determined it can implement the conditional fall extension (CFE) on Lake Martin. 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 conditions through the six-week period.
In a normal year, the water level at Lake Martin begins dropping around Sept. 1, falling to winter pool around mid-November. The lower level allows the reservoir to capture and store winter rains. The lake begins to rise in early spring, reaching full summer level around the end of April.
The water level at Lake Martin and at Lake Harris, on the Tallapoosa River, and water levels at Weiss, Logan Martin and Neely Henry lakes on the Coosa River, as well as water, flows in the Coosa and Tallapoosa river basins, are examined in determining whether higher levels can be maintained at Lake Martin beyond Sept. 1.
This is the second year in a row that higher summer levels can be extended into the fall at Lake Martin. However, based on a historical analysis, the conditions for a higher fall elevation at Lake Martin are expected to occur, over the long term, only about once every four years.
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.
For more information about Alabama Power lakes, download the new Smart Lakes app for your smartphone, or visit www.apcshorelines.com. Individuals can call 1-800-LAKES 11 (1-800-525-3711) for lake condition updates.