Duke Energy working to minimize downstream flooding on the Catawba-Wateree River system after significant rainfall May 8, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -
Duke Energy encourages residents near Lake Wateree to be alert for rising lake levels. In addition, the company expects the Mountain Island Lake water level to remain high for up to several weeks.
Duke Energy is managing the Catawba River by passing water through engineered spillways or floodgates at many of the lakes it manages along the river. Many hydroelectric units are running as well to pass water downstream.
Lakes will gradually recede as water continues to move down the river.
“Due to heavy rainfall, Duke Energy has moved an immense amount of water through the Catawba-Wateree River system since May 1 — roughly four times the equivalent of Mountain Island Lake,” said Randy Herrin, general manager of the hydro fleet. “Because lakes are already full, water from upstream must pass through to downstream reservoirs. This means some lakes may continue to spill for some time until we can make room for future rainfall.”
Due to the high volumes passing through, Lookout Shoals Lake and Mountain Island Lake will stay above full pond for an extended period of time — a result of Duke Energy’s operational strategy to send water downstream at a measured pace to protect low-lying homes from flooding. All lake levels will depend on future rainfall amounts.
“As the upper Catawba continues to stabilize, our focus is on public safety and minimizing downstream flooding,” said Herrin. “We understand that this extreme weather pattern has placed some lake residents in a difficult situation, and we ask for their patience as we return the lakes to normal levels.”
Lake Wylie, Cedar Creek and Fishing Creek are also close to full pond and Lake Wateree went above full pond early today. Lake Wateree will continue to spill for an extended period as well.
Those interested in monitoring lake levels can view them at http://www.duke-energy.com/lakes/levels.asp, where special messages on lakes are also available. People also can call the Lake Information Line at 1-800-829-5253.
“We are seeing significant debris on the lakes. We encourage the public to be alert and adhere to the advice of local emergency management officials,” Herrin said.
Anyone with questions about what actions to take during high water conditions should contact a local county emergency management office. Here are some suggested safety measures:
- People who live along lakes and rivers and in other low-lying areas or areas prone to flooding should pay close attention to local media for changing weather conditions and rising lake and river levels.
- Know your area's flood risk. During rains that have lasted for several hours or even several days, be attentive to the chance of flooding.
- High water conditions and debris can create navigational hazards, and the public should use caution and adhere to the advice of local emergency management officials before going on area lakes or rivers.
- Those living along lakes and rivers should move loose objects away from the shoreline to prevent creating additional navigational hazards.
- Members of the public who have electrical service to facilities (piers, outside lighting on seawalls, etc.) on or near the water, should have a qualified electrical contractor de-energize this service to avoid injuries and equipment damage.
Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 20,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 2.4 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.
Contact: Lisa Hoffmann