Appalachian Power extends warning about water levels downstream of Claytor and Leesville Dams

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 12:17 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Water levels at the Claytor and Leesville dams could rise and fluctuate throughout the week, according to Appalachian Power.

“When the temperature rises, the demand for electricity will rise, so PJM is letting us know that at any point, they can call upon us to make sure we meet that demand,” explains Appalachian Power spokesperson George Porter.

The National Weather Service is calling for high temperatures and PJM, the independent regional transmission organization that manages the electric grid in 13 states, told Appalachian Power it might need to increase power generation at its hydroelectric plants to maintain the reliability of the regional electric grid if called upon to do so.

Porter says the frequency with which these warnings have been issued is unusual.

“It is an anomaly. Over the last couple years, PJM hasn’t reached out to us nearly as much to let us know about capacity demand issues. The last couple months, this is probably about the fourth or fifth time they have given us the capacity alert. They’ve only ever issued it one time over those four times, but the last couple months they’ve let us know that there is a possibility.”

Below Claytor Dam, water levels could increase up to two feet in a matter of minutes. Water levels below Leesville Dam could increase as much as eight feet over a seven-hour period.

Appalachian Power says the rivers will not become more dangerous because of the possible increase in power generation.

Anyone considering doing river activities should monitor AEP’s website for additional information.

Copyright 2022 WDBJ. All rights reserved.