Duke Energy managing high water along Catawba-Wateree

May 7, 2013 

— Duke Energy continues working quickly to move high water through the Catawba-Wateree Basin and encourages lakeside residents to use caution in low-lying and flood-prone areas.

Some areas in the upper Catawba region have received as much as six inches of rain in the last three days, requiring Duke Energy’s hydro operations team to move significant water volumes through the Catawba River’s 225 miles and chain of 11 reservoirs and 13 hydroelectric stations.

“We have been monitoring this weather system and began moving water in advance late last week,” said Randy Herrin, general manager of the hydro fleet. “Our focus is balancing the upper basin with the lower to minimize impacts to lakeside residents as much as possible. We also are keeping local emergency managers informed.”

Some Catawba reservoirs are above full pond and spilling, including Lake James, Lake Rhodhiss, Lake Hickory and Lookout Shoals. Problems with the controls that operate Oxford Dam spillway gates on Lake Hickory delayed the company’s ability to raise those gates. This caused water to spill over the auxiliary spillway, which is designed to pass high flows. There are no concerns for dam safety; the problem has been resolved, and water levels are receding.

Lake levels can be viewed onlinea t duke-energy.com/lakes/levels.asp, where special messages on lakes are also available, or call the Lake Information Line at 1-800-829-5253.

In certain low-lying neighborhoods, Duke Energy may need to disconnect electricity for safety reasons. If so, Duke Energy will provide as much notice to customers as possible. The company would reconnect those customers once local officials indicate it is safe to do so.

“High water conditions can create hazardous conditions, and we encourage residents to be alert and adhere to the advice of local emergency management officials,” Herrin said. “We appreciate our customers’ patience and cooperation while we manage these high flows.”

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