1/31/2013
APPALACHIAN POWER SEES HIGH WATER AT VIRGINIA HYDROELECTRIC PLANTS

ROANOKE, Va., January 31, 2013 – Heavy rainfall overnight in the Appalachian Power territory in Virginia resulted in high water conditions this morning on many of the rivers on which the company operates hydroelectric facilities. In some areas river flow increased a multiple of 10 times in just 12 hours. Where necessary, Appalachian Power officials notified emergency services organizations of water releases that are affecting downstream and lake conditions. None of the company’s facilities are constructed for flood control. However, efforts are being and have been made to attempt to assist in controlling flows downstream.

  • On the New River near Ivanhoe in Carroll County flows have increased dramatically. These flows are affecting the company’s Buck and Byllesby hydroelectric facilities. Water is currently going over the dam and flashboards at both facilities. Local flooding is inhibiting access. As soon as the dams are accessible flashboards will be removed. This will increase flows immediately downstream of the dams, but should dissipate further downstream.  Because water is overtopping the dam, as a precaution the company has notified officials in accordance with its emergency action plan procedures. Additional water volume from North Carolina will increase flows late this evening. Residents in low-water areas downstream should monitor the US Geological Survey (USGS) Ivanhoe gauge on the New River.  This information is available at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis.
  • At Claytor Dam on the New River the company is releasing approximately 72,000 cubic feet of water per second (cfs) and the company does not anticipate increasing this release amount or that the reservoir level will increase further. The reservoir elevation is currently 1848.4 feet above sea level, normal full-pond elevation is 1846. The current water release plan should maintain heavy flows downstream but should help avoid a higher crest.  Residents in this area should watch the Radford USGS for current information.
  • Tributaries feeding the Smith Mountain Project are expected to crest later in the day. The current water level at Smith Mountain Dam is 795 feet above sea level. Additional inflows may require Appalachian to increase the water level at the dam. The company does not anticipate the elevation exceeding 795.5 at this time.
  • At Altavista, downstream of Leesville Dam, approximately 20,000 cfs water flows are creating a flood condition. The company is holding water in Leesville, and will release inflows in a manner that does not increase downstream flooding conditions.
  • At Reusens Dam on the James River near Lynchburg the current flows are approximately 36,600 cfs. The company is releasing inflows through the spillway gates.

 

Additional information about current conditions is available at http://www.aep.com/environment/conservation/hydro/.

 

                                                                                                                                           ### 

Todd Burns
Corporate Communications
540-985-2912
tfburns@aep.com

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