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Water levels may return to normal at Jordan, Lay, Mitchell lakes


Timing depends on forecasted rains; Boat owners should stay alert for possibility of changing conditions

BIRMINGHAM – Forecasted weekend rains and improved river flows could bring Alabama Power’s lower Coosa River reservoirs back to normal levels in the next week or so. But the ongoing drought is keeping larger reservoirs on the Tallapoosa and Black Warrior rivers well below normal levels for this time of year.

Lake Jordan, Lay Lake and Lake Mitchell on the lower Coosa are “run-of-the-river” reservoirs and typically do not fluctuate in normal years. But during this year’s severe drought, levels on the three lakes have been lowered to help meet government-required downstream releases for navigation and to protect wildlife.

Forecasted weekend rains in the Coosa River watershed could help Lake Jordan, Lay Lake and Lake Mitchell return to their normal levels. But if those rains don’t materialize, levels could stay below normal for some time.

Recent rains have had only a minimal effect on reservoirs on the Tallapoosa and Black Warrior rivers. Specifically, Lakes Martin and Harris on the Tallapoosa and Smith Lake on the Black Warrior remain well below winter pool levels. Without very significant rains, the three reservoirs are expected to remain below normal levels well into the new year, and may not reach summer pool.

Individuals with boats and other water-related equipment and facilities should always be alert to changing conditions on Alabama Power reservoirs and be prepared to take the necessary steps to protect their property.

For the latest on lake levels, visit and click on “drought.” Information can also be obtained by calling Alabama Power’s automated Reservoir Information System at 1-800-LAKES11 (1-800-525-3711).


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