Heat, lack of rain affecting Alabama Power lake levels

Hot and dry conditions across Alabama are beginning to take a toll on Alabama Power lake levels.

"Despite an extremely wet winter season, the dry conditions that have developed are now negatively affecting the flows in rivers and streams that feed Alabama Power’s reservoirs," said Herbie Johnson, Alabama Power Hydro general manager. "Along with the below-normal rainfall, heat and evaporation are also having an impact."

The U.S. Drought Monitor for Sept. 24 shows more than 80% of Alabama is at least abnormally dry, with more than 30% of the state suffering from moderate drought or worse. A portion of Shelby County is the only location in the "extreme drought" category.

In response to the dry conditions, Alabama Power has reduced water releases from its hydroelectric dams, to the extent allowed by the company’s federal licenses. Even with these actions, Alabama Power expects the levels of Weiss, Henry and Logan Martin lakes on the Coosa River, Harris and Martin lakes on the Tallapoosa River, and Smith Lake on the Black Warrior River to continue to slowly decline to below normal levels for this time of year – in the absence of rainfall.

Alabama Power will continue to closely monitor conditions and manage the limited resources carefully. 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 details about Alabama Power lakes, visit https://apcshorelines.com or download the free Smart Lakes app to your mobile device. To view specific lake advisories, click on the lake name and then click the circular information icon. You can also call Alabama Power’s automated Reservoir Information Line at 1-800-LAKES11 (1-800-525-3711) for updates.