LITTLE ROCK, Ark., April 25 - The Little Rock District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports that heavy rains are causing some of its six lakes in the White River basin to rise rapidly, especially Beaver Lake near Rogers, Ark., Table Rock Lake near Branson, Mo., and Clearwater Lake near Piedmont, Mo.
The lakes are operating as they should and are reducing flood damage downstream. People who live or work in flood plains below these dams should maintain awareness by monitoring weather and news media. Beaver and Table Rock lakes are expected to approach their flood storage capacities because of rain that has fallen.
When this occurs, and if more heavy rain is forecast, people should decide beforehand whether to move belongings to higher ground. Flows downstream can increase quickly, with perhaps no more than an hour or two notice, and rapidly changing conditions could create even shorter notice.
People in at-risk areas should stay in contact with local emergency officials. If larger than normal releases are required from a dam, warnings will go out through local emergency channels. Local officials may not know you require notification unless you have told them so.
Conditions at the six White River Basin lakes as of Monday morning were as follows.
Table Rock Lake near Branson, Mo.: The lake elevation Monday morning was
923.5 feet and rising, with 50 percent of the flood storage capacity in use.
The lake can handle 1.75 inches more rain runoff. April rainfall through Monday morning was 10.4 inches. Releases from the spillway and powerhouse will increase today to a total of 30,000 cubic feet per second.
Beaver Lake near Rogers, Ark.: The lake was at elevation 1,127 feet Monday morning and rising. About 68 percent of the lake's flood storage capacity was in use. The lake can handle about 1.5 inches more runoff. April rainfall through Monday morning was 11.4 inches. Releases from the spillway and powerhouse will increase today to 20,000 cubic feet per second.
Clearwater Lake near Piedmont, Mo.: This morning's elevation was 530 feet and rising. About 29 percent of its flood storage was in use. The project office reported 7.53 inches of rain over the weekend. More heavy rain is forecast. Because of ongoing construction on the Clearwater Dam major rehabilitation project, the Corps is sending geotechnical engineers to monitor the dam during high lake levels. No problems with the dam are being reported.
Norfork Lake near Mountain Home, Ark.: The hydropower units are being repaired at the power house, so the Corps is making releases from the dam's spillway gates instead. The releases are comparable to what would go through the powerhouse if the units were operational. The lake was at elevation
562.8 Monday morning and rising, with 34 percent of flood storage capacity in use. The lake can handle about 5 inches more runoff. The gates are being shut back from 4,000 c.f.s. to 1,000 c.f.s., which is equal to average minimum flood control releases (simulates firm power). Total April rainfall through Monday morning was 11.6 inches.
Bull Shoals Lake near Mountain Home, Ark.: The lake elevation Monday morning was 664.2 feet and rising, with about 21 percent of the lake's flood storage capacity in use. The lake can handle about 5.8 inches more runoff. Releases at the dam are restricted to firm power. Total April rainfall through Monday morning was 11 inches.
Greers Ferry Lake near Heber Springs, Ark.: The lake elevation Monday morning was 462.8 feet and rising, with 5 percent of the lake's flood storage capacity in use. The lake can handle about 14.4 inches more runoff. Total April rainfall through Monday morning was 6.5 inches.
Do not rely on rumors. If you have questions about Army Corps of Engineers dams, contact your local Corps office. In addition, information is posted on the Internet at www.swl.usace.army.mil. Click "Water Management" to view various lake and river reports as well as links to the National Weather Service river stage and weather forecasts.