Drought still affecting Alabama Power lakes
Inflows below normal; summer drawdown of storage reservoirs expected to begin in late June

BIRMINGHAM - June 6, 2008 - Despite an increase in rainfall, the historic drought that began in 2006 continues to affect Alabama Power lakes.

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, a large portion of northeast Alabama remains in a severe drought, with much of the rest of the state under a moderate drought or suffering from abnormally dry conditions. Although spring rains, along with efforts by Alabama Power and state and federal agencies, have helped return the company’s reservoirs to normal or near-normal levels, the flow of water into the Coosa and Tallapoosa river basins has not recovered. In fact, the flow is less than half the level of a normal year.

Because of these conditions, Alabama Power plans to manage water resources carefully through the summer. Whitewater enthusiasts who visit the Coosa River below Jordan Dam to enjoy recreational water releases should check the release schedule before setting out. Go to http://lakes.alabamapower.com and click on the Lake Jordan page for the latest schedule. Individuals can also call Alabama Power's automated Reservoir Information System at 1-800-LAKES11 (1-800-525-3711) and follow instructions for the Jordan Dam generation schedule.

Alabama Power is working closely with state and federal agencies to try to maintain normal summer conditions on the company’s six storage reservoirs. Typically, levels on those reservoirs – Weiss Lake, Lake Neely Henry and Logan Martin Lake on the Coosa; Lakes Harris and Martin on the Tallapoosa; and Smith Lake on the Black Warrior River – begin to fall in late June as the company utilizes the water to meet downstream flow requirements and meet the demand for power during the hot summer months. Normally the lakes continue to fall until December, remaining at winter pool elevations until they can be replenished by winter and spring rains. 
Alabama Power must make certain releases from the lakes to meet downstream navigation, aquatic and water quality needs.

As summer proceeds, the company will continue to closely monitor the conditions on the lakes and manage 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 all of Alabama Power’s lakes, visit www.alabamapower.com and click on “drought.” Or call 1-800-LAKES11 (1-800-525-3711).


Media Contact: Michael Sznajderman, (205) 257.4155, msznajde@southernco.com