Water levels to fall again at Jordan, Lay, Mitchell lakes; boat owners should take steps to protect property

BIRMINGHAM – With extreme drought conditions continuing, Alabama Power is taking additional steps to meet its requirements for protecting water quality and navigation by reducing by another 2 feet the water levels on Jordan, Lay and Mitchell Lakes.

The three lakes on the lower Coosa River will begin to fall on or around Monday, Sept.17. The drawdown is expected to be completed within two weeks.

By utilizing some of the limited volume of water stored in Jordan, Lay and Mitchell, Alabama Power can better manage the record low inflows to its Coosa River reservoirs. Despite the extraordinarily low inflows, Alabama Power remains under various government mandates that require the company to make certain water releases from its dams.

Jordan, Lay and Mitchell are “run of the river” lakes that typically do not fluctuate as much as the company’s larger, storage reservoirs. But because of this year’s drought, Alabama Power has been forced to make use of the limited water available in the three lakes. Earlier this year, the three lakes were temporarily drawn down to about 3 feet below their normal elevations.

After this latest drawdown, Jordan, Lay and Mitchell lakes are expected to remain about 3 feet below their typical elevations through October.

This year’s drought is the worst on record in Alabama. Streams that feed Alabama Power lakes are at the lowest levels ever recorded for this time of year. At Alabama Power’s six storage reservoirs, levels are already below winter pool elevations.

With extremely dry conditions persisting, people should be aware that lake levels are expected to continue to drop into the fall. 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 the latest on lake levels, visit www.alabamapower.com and click on the “drought” icon. Information can also be obtained by calling Alabama Power's automated Reservoir Information System at 1-800-LAKES11 (1-800-525-3711).