Duke Energy lowering lake levels ahead of Hurricane Ian
“Our concern would be the potential for receiving 8+ inches of rain, which is forecast in some isolated areas in the Upper Catawba region,” according to Duke Energy spokesperson.
CATAWBA COUNTY , N.C. (WBTV) - The biggest threat in the Charlotte area is flooding from heavy rains.
Duke Energy is lowering lake levels along the Catawba River to handle all the rain headed our way.
The last time people living along Lookout Shoals Lake saw major flooding was nearly 2-years ago in November of 2020. Today, people are optimistic things will be better because of the steps Duke Energy is taking.
“Well, we have in the past been concerned,” said Carolyn Haller, who lives on Lookout Shoals Lake in Catawba County.
Rex Bumgarner added, “this is the first time I’ve felt confident they can handle it.”
After years of flooding on Lookout Shoals Lake, neighbors are hopeful this storm will be different.
Haller said, “they have gotten it way down right now, the boats are sitting on dry land, a lot of them that’s not in the water.
Duke Energy tells WBTV it started lowering lake levels along the Catawba River on Monday when the forecast showed Ian would hit the Carolinas.
“I’ve been here 38 years and we’ve been flooded 7 times,” said Bumgarner.
The longtime resident is now used to bad weather from hurricanes and flooding in this area.
He blames the problem on managing water levels on the lake.
“The last time it was over that top deck about 2 feet, which put 4 feet in the home,” said Bumgarner.
“Our garage part where we have all the tools and old car and all that, and when it does come in we have to pull out all of that stuff,” said Haller.
Lookout Shoals Lake is just under 95 feet, that’s 5 feet below the maximum mark of 100 feet.
Bumgarner said, “It’s a great sign, and they’ve been doing some work at the dam.”
People living along the lake shore are pleased with the water management lately by Duke Energy and are hopeful flooding will not be an issue this weekend.
“I feel optimistic anyway,” said Haller about Ian not causing major flooding along the lake shore.
“They have been managing the water the best in my 38 years,” said Bumgarner.
Duke Energy is continuing to lower levels here at Lookout Shoals and 10 other lakes along the Catawba River basin.
Duke Energy said by lowering the lakes, it will allow them to have more storage when rainfall and runoff occurs from Ian.
“Our concern would be the potential for receiving 8+ inches of rain, which is forecast in some isolated areas in the Upper Catawba region,” said a Duke Energy spokesperson.
The energy company wants people living along lakes, rivers and areas prone to flooding to pay attention to the weather forecasts and instructions from local emergency officials.
You can get real-time information on lake levels at duke-energy.com/lakes, by calling 800-829-5253 or the Duke Energy Lake View mobile app.
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