ROANOKE, Va., Nov.12, 2009 – The water at Smith Mountain Lake continues to rise above normal levels today as a result of increased inflow from rain-swollen tributaries.   The full pond level was also exceeded in the reservoir at Leesville due to rising inflow resulting from rainstorms in the region.
Earlier today, Appalachian Power began increasing the discharge of water from the Leesville Dam into the Staunton River in an effort to create more storage volume in the lower project reservoir. That will eventually allow additional flow from the Smith Mountain Dam into Leesville Lake.
The normal full pond level at Smith Mountain Lake is 795 feet above sea level as measured at the dam. It is estimated to reach about 798 feet sometime this evening based on predictions of continued high inflow from the Roanoke and Blackwater Rivers.
Appalachian urges persons to use caution when boating or participating in other activities on or near the Smith Mountain Project during higher than normal water levels. Boats tied at docks should be properly moored for higher water levels. Lakefront property owners should take whatever action they feel necessary to secure personal property.
The company will monitor downstream river levels and will adjust its increased flow from Leesville accordingly to avoid downstream flooding.
Appalachian continues to consult with the National Weather Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Interested persons may view current flow and elevation readings for Smith Mountain Project and other hydroelectric generating facilities operated by Appalachian Power and its parent company American Electric Power at this site:

Elevation information may also be obtained by calling (540) 985-2767.

Smith Mountain Project is a 636-megawatt pumped storage hydroelectric facility located in southwestern Virginia that utilizes an upper reservoir (Smith Mountain Lake) and a lower reservoir (Leesville Lake). Water stored in Smith Mountain Lake passes through turbine generators in the powerhouse to produce electricity and is discharged into Leesville Lake.  Most of the water is retained in Leesville Lake and pumped back into the Smith Mountain Lake for re-use.  A portion of the water goes through the turbine-generators at the Leesville powerhouse to generate additional electricity and to meet the minimum discharge requirements of the project´s FERC license.

John Shepelwich
Corporate Communications