Neighbors on Catawba River say Duke Energy "broke promises" - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Neighbors on Catawba River say Duke Energy "broke promises"

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A Duke Energy spokeswoman says decisions to raise water levels on the Catawba River are made and can change by the minute, depending on the situation. The company says releasing millions of gallons of water is necessary to manage lake levels and help release pressure.

Residents who live along the Catawba River in Mecklenburg County say Duke Energy has not communicated with them, leaving them with many questions.

For days, front yards have become ponds, while backyards are almost completely covered by the swollen river. Duke Energy manages the river levels.

"We were waiting for calls from them (Duke Energy) on our land lines and cell phones to update and keep us informed but we didn't get the calls. When we checked with neighbors, they didn't get the calls," said one neighbor named Ruth.

WBTV took Ruth's concerns directly to Duke Energy. Spokeswoman Lisa Hoffman says she sympathizes with homeowners affected by the high water levels.

"We began communicating late last week, as soon as we saw that rainfall was in the prediction," Hoffman said.

Hoffman says Duke's plan to open spillways will benefit residents in the long run.

"It needs to pass through in order for us to restore lakes to target levels and prepare for future rainfall," she said.

Hoffman says her biggest concern is keeping people away from the river, because of the large amounts of debris moving downstream.

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