Drawdown at some Huntington District Lakes delayed

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

HUNTINGTON, WV – In order to help reduce expected problems of low water levels on the lower Ohio River and points downstream, the Huntington District will temporarily stop the normal fall drawdown on two of its three Kanawha River flood control reservoirs: Sutton Lake and Summersville Lake. It will delay the start of drawdown at Bluestone Lake. Drawdown will resume on Dec. 1. The three reservoirs are expected  to be at winter pool by Dec.10.

            Due to the current extreme drought conditions across the Greater Mississippi Valley region, exceptionally low flows have occurred on the Missouri, Upper Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. These low flows are expected to reach critical levels during early December and negatively impact navigation. The Ohio River drought management plan provides for this contingency. This measure is deemed necessary to minimize drought impacts downstream and is not expected to transfer risks or adversely impact the authorized mission of these reservoirs.

            The majority of reservoirs within the Huntington District release water during the fall in order to lower pool levels from the higher summer levels to the lower winter levels to prepare for flood season. This fall drawdown provides incidental benefits to navigation during the seasonal low flow period. The target date varies by reservoir, but most are scheduled to reach winter pool during late November or early December. A delay in the drawdown and winter pool target date would extend the incidental navigation benefits during the Ohio River’s expected critically low period of the first two weeks of December.    


            For more information, call Public Affairs at 304-399-5353.

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