Temps could lead to rise in water levels downstream of Claytor and Leesville dams

Water Levels Below Leesville and Claytor Dams Could Rise
Water Levels Below Leesville and Claytor Dams Could Rise
Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 11:47 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Appalachian Power wants boaters, kayakers, tubers and other recreational users downstream of Claytor and Leesville dams to know that water levels on the New and Roanoke rivers could rise rapidly starting Monday, September 4, and potentially fluctuate through the week.

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

Below Claytor Dam, AEP says 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. Those considering recreating on the rivers are asked to monitor AEP’s website for additional information and follow the Smith Mountain or Claytor Facebook pages for updates.

The AEP-operated Claytor Dam is on the New River in Pulaski County. Leesville Dam is part of the Smith Mountain Project on the Roanoke River.