Spill gates open for dams

Published 8:32 pm Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Heavy rainfall forecasted for the Chilton County area over the next three days prompted Alabama Power Company to warn residents on area lakes the rainfall may force the opening of spill gates at Lay and Mitchell dams.

An alert issued by the company at 11 a.m. Wednesday said, “Flood-control operations, including the use of spill gates at Alabama Power dams along the Coosa and Tallapoosa reservoirs, should be expected, and lake levels could rise as a result of the heavy rains.”

At the time of the alert, the elevation of Lay Lake was 395.03 feet (.97 feet below full summer pool). The elevation of Lake Mitchell was reported to be 310.50 feet (1.5 feet below full summer pool). Lake Jordan was reported at 251.12 feet (.88 feet below full summer pool).

“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,” the alert said.

The National Weather Service is predicting 3 to 5 inches of rain from Wednesday through Saturday as a series of upper level lows will move over the state. Numerous possibilities for severe weather are also predicted over the same time period.

A flash flood watch will be in effect for Chilton County and much of Alabama through the storms.