1/25/2010

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE EXPECTED TO EXCEED FULL LEVEL TODAY

ROANOKE, Va., Jan. 25, 2010 – Smith Mountain Lake in Southwestern Virginia is expected to exceed full-pond level today as a result of high water inflows from weekend rains.
 
Current estimates show the high water level could reach about one foot above normal. The normal full pond level at Smith Mountain Lake is 795 feet as measured at the dam.  
 
Lakeside residents and businesses should take necessary precautions.
 
On Friday, in anticipation of predicted rainfall, Appalachian Power began increasing the discharge of water from the Leesville Dam into the Staunton River to create more storage volume in the two project reservoirs.

The company will monitor inflows and downstream river levels and adjust its flow from Leesville accordingly to avoid flooding. Appalachian continues to consult with the National Weather Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
 
Current flow and elevation readings for Smith Mountain Project are available at http://www.aep.com/environmental/recreation/hydro .
 
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.
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John Shepelwich
Corporate Communications
jeshepelwich@AEP.com