Water level at Carvins Cove decreases

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ROANOKE CO., Va. (WDBJ7) UDPATE: The Western Virginia Water Authority says the water level at the Carvins Cove reservoir has dropped.

WDBJ7 photo

As of Friday morning, the level is down to 2.3 feet above the spillway, and it continues to drop.

The reservoir crested at 2.9 feet about the spillway Thursday evening.

The water authority says the dam is not experiencing any issues, but staff will continue to monitor.

EARLIER: Two and a half feet of water cascaded over the Carvins Cove Dam and rushed down the spillway into Carvins Creek Thursday afternoon.

"It's a tremendous amount of water. It's very loud," said Sarah Baumgardner, spokesperson for the Western Virginia Water Authority.

Baumgardner said she's never seen this much water coming over the top of the dam in the 14 years she's worked for the authority.

But it's not a dangerous situation. She says it would take a much larger flood to threaten the integrity of the dam.

"We did do a comprehensive engineering study which was completed in 2014 that showed the dam could actually withstand 14 feet of water coming over the top, before there was dam failure," Baumgardner said.

There is no public access to the dam. And the water authority has suspended boating activities until further notice.

But the Carvins Cove parking lot remains open, and that's where we found angler Richard Ross.

"I've often heard that it's a good day to go fishing when its raining," Ross told WDBJ7. "So I thought I'd give it a try and so far it's pretty good luck."

Once the rain stops it could take a couple of days before the water level returns to normal. So at this point it appears unlikely that boaters will be able to return to the reservoir during the Memorial Day weekend.

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