Appalachian Power is following the ever-changing forecasts and adjusting water levels at its Claytor and Byllesby/Buck hydroelectric plants in southwest Virginia in anticipation of possible heavy rain in the New River watershed from remnants of Hurricane Irma. It is also watching possible rain impacts on its Roanoke River plants.
As a precaution, Appalachian Power began lowering the reservoir behind the Claytor dam on the New River this morning. The plan is to reduce the elevation of the reservoir one foot per-day until it reaches 1,842 feet around 8:00 a.m. Monday. Appalachian Power plans to reduce the reservoir elevation at its Byllesby/Buck projects by two feet per-day beginning Saturday morning. The goal is for the Byllesby reservoir to reach an elevation of 2,074.2 feet and the Buck reservoir to reach an elevation of 1,998.4 feet by 8:00 a.m. Monday. The plans are subject to change based on the path of the hurricane or other weather conditions.
Appalachian Power is also closely monitoring the Roanoke River and any effect it may have on the reservoir levels at its Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes.
Lakeside property owners and marinas should take proper precautions to secure or relocate boats, docks and loose items to protect them from the shallower waters and/or rising water if that occurs. Recreational boaters should make sure public ramps and portages are open by checking the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries website http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/boating/.
Residents and area businesses are encouraged to monitor local weather forecasts and the company's website http://www.aep.com/environment/conservation/hydro/ for updated water levels and flow information.
Teresa Hamilton Hall