Corps to begin lowering Beaver Lake

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The high level of Beaver Lake caused by repeated rains during the fall and winter of 2009 will soon be lowered, according to an Army Corps of Engineers press release.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the Corps will begin making releases through the hydropower turbines to bring the lake down to elevation 1,120.4, the top of the conservation pool. Beaver Lake is currently at elevation 1,127.3.

Owners of docks on Beaver Lake are being advised to move their docks as needed to prevent them from grounding as the lake recedes. Officials also caution anglers downstream from the dam to be extra vigilant because currents will be strong and swift when the larger releases are being made. Officials also advise downstream boat dock owners to ensure their docks are properly secured to withstand high flows.

The lake level will drop about one half foot each day when the releases begin. Releases from Beaver Dam will begin at full hydropower generation capacity for 24 hours a day and continue until the lake falls to elevation 1121.4 feet. Then releases will be reduced to about the equivalent rate of operating at full power for 12 hours a day until the lake reaches conservation pool elevation 1,120.4 feet.

During the fall and winter, Beaver Lake performed as designed by capturing and storing the excessive runoff from the near record rainfall. In operating in this manner, Beaver Lake assisted in preventing downstream flooding, the Corps reported. Now, that stored water will be released according to the approved White River Basin water control plan.

As outlined in the water control plan, the downstream lakes (Table Rock and Bull Shoals) must be within two feet of their conservation pool elevations before Beaver Lake can be lowered. Table Rock Lake is below conservation pool elevation and meets the necessary criteria. The Corps now predicts Bull Shoals Lake will be within two feet of the conservation pool elevation of 654 feet by Jan. 19. More rainfall can alter that forecast.

Persons interested in the Beaver Lake level can monitor the Little Rock District's water management Web page at www.swl.usace.army.mil and click the "Water Management" button.

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