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Lake Martin Drought of 1941 Was Worse than 2007

Lake martin drought 1941

 

Lake Martin has been a victim of the 2007 drought that has affected Alabama and much of the southeast.  The lake level is down to 480 already, which is the normal winter level.

Apparently in 1941 it was worse.  50 feet down is about as bad as it gets.  I think back then they used to bring the level down in the winter by 30 feet anyway, so maybe the 1941 drought’s true effect was 20 or so feet.  Since this picture was taken in November, I am sure there is some effect of the winter level.

Still, 50 feet down is pretty bad.  I was shocked to see this in an email that was circulating around.  Maybe someone will debunk this as an urban legend, but at the very least we can be glad that we don’t have to make up 50 feet this spring.

Thanks to Eric of Lakedog Appraisals for sending me the photo!

 

Gov Riley Declares War On Lake Martin Water Level

Lake Martin real estate water levelGovernor Bob Riley has declared war with the Army Corps of Engineers over the Lake Martin Water level.

Apparently he is sick of seeing this drought affect Lake Martin’s water level drastically, while reservoirs that are upstream (read: in Georgia) haven’t felt the hurt like we have.  The Army Corps of Engineers regulate the flow on most if not all of these dams.  Riley contends that they need to release more water in Georgia to help Alabama.

Robert Price Prince, the general manager for Central Elmore (County) Water Authority joins Riley in his concerns.  The company’s water intake valve is at 474 feet on the Martin dam.  Any lake level below that spells trouble.

In response, the Corps has responded to say that they will increase water flow into the Tallapoosa / Coosa system and also reduce the required flow going out.  Hopefully this will abate the drop in the Lake Martin water level.

I guess that just goes to show you what a country boy can accomplish when he gets mad.  Lake Martin water level effect on real estateGuv can put the top back on that can of Clay County Whup A**.  I applaud the Governor’s passion and action.

I looked and looked for an online video of the Guv’s call to arms.  I saw it on the news the other night, and it was a classic Alabama rant.  There he was, up in the grill of the cameraman, tie loosened and sleeves rolled up, spitting and fuming.  Well, it worked!  Good for him.

Every time I see the Guv at a public event, he has the tie loose and the sleeves rolled up.  It makes me wonder, if he ever did get in an actual fight, would he tighten up the tie and roll his sleeves down?  Just wondering.  Kudos to Riley.

 

Related Posts:

Help Keep Lake Martin Water Level Up
Fourth Of July Fireworks Are On, But Don’t Try At Home

How To Get One-Up On Lake Martin Wannabes

Lake martin clean upHave you had Lake Martin waterfront property all of your life, but you’re tired of the Johnny-come-latelys who can’t find Chimney Rock without a GPS?  Or maybe you’re new to Lake Martin, and have heard enough hot air from old timers that think they should have shut the gates of the lake back in 1958?

Here’s a way to way to shut both of them up. 

Ask:

When’s the last time you volunteered your time for the Lake?

After they quit mumbling a response, get over on them by bragging about how you participated in the 2007 Lake Martin Clean Up.lake martin real estate trash

Each year, Renew Our Rivers (a joint effort between Alabama Power and the Middle Tallapoosa Clean Water Partnership) hosts a clean up day.  It’s a chance for regular folks to pitch in and help beautify Lake Martin.

When?

This year it is Saturday July 14 from 8 AM to Noon. (No, you don’t have to work the whole time.  30 minutes will do.)

Where?

Four locations: 1. Kowaliga Bridge Boat Ramp, 2. DARE Park, 3. Union Boat Ramp, and 4.Alex City Boat Ramp

Any swag?

You get a t shirt, gloves, and a bag.

Contact?

Tammy Jones (256) 234-5271 ext. 3

You Are A Lake Martin HOBO

Lake Martin HoboWhether you know it or not, you are a Lake Martin HOBO!

Some Lake Martin area folks have organized the Lake Martin Home Owners and Boat Owners Association – and called it the Lake Martin HOBOs.  You don’t really have to be a waterfront home owner or a license toting boat owner to be a member.  So even if you are merely a fan of Lake Martin, you can join today

Coley Real Estate and the Lake Martin Voice are proud sponsors of the Lake Martin HOBOs.

Why a Lake Martin HOBO?

The Mission Statement reads:

“The organization’s mission is to work together with home owners, boat owners, local businesses, local, state and federal agencies and others to foster long term partnerships to preserve, protect and enhance the overall quality of life of all living things in and around Lake Martin – The Crown Jewel of the South, including, but not limited to, water levels and quality, shoreline preservation, fishing, wildlife, recreational activities and the safety of all boaters.”

Worthy goals all.  I think Lake Martin needs an association like this that will responsive to the people in the area, and that will balance quality of life issues with the realities of Lake Martin’s future development.

Please support the Lake Martin HOBOs!

New Lake Martin Lunch Spot: Green Valley Market & Cafe

Lake Martin lunch restaurantLake Martin has another great dining choice! The Green Valley Market and Cafe is now open.

The Green Valley Market is located in the Eclectic or Kowaliga area of Lake Martin, next to the Kudzu Corner. They are located on Highway 229 about halfway between where 229 intersects highway 50 at Castaway Island Road, and where 229 intersects highway 63 (aka Kowaliga Road) in downtown Kowaliga.

The Green Valley Market and Cafe sells sandwiches, and offers a good assortment of meat at their meat counter. If you need a lotGreen Valley market outside of food for your Fourth of July party, you may want to ask them about their catering. One of the newer trends on Lake Martin is selling ready to eat casseroles and such for people who don’t want to cook yet would like some home cookin. They sell a lot of the warm up and eat type of fare, which I am sure is very good. They also sell boutique looking spices, and little gifts, etc.

Lake Martin real estate lunchI have tried just about every sandwich they make, and I must say, I am pleasantly surprised. They serve the sandwiches with sides like potato salad or pasta salad, but my favorite is the black bean salad. Usually a lunch menu on the fru fru side does not do much for me, but their sandwiches taste really good. They use good quality meat and give generous portions. It is a great choice if you are looking for something other than fried foods.

Check them out! I recommend them heartily and wish them the best. Their phone is (334)857-3663. Street address is 2415 Red Hill Road, Eclectic, Alabama, 36024.

Related post: Four Great Lunch Meals Around Lake Martin

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Russell Lands’ Fireworks Are On, But Don’t Try At Home

Lake Martin real estate propertyLake Martin’s Fireworks Display on the Fourth of July is one of the best things about the lake area. After years of watching the fireworks show at the lake has caused me to be jaded and judgmental of any other claims to have “the best fireworks show in the land.

Many have worried that this year’s severe drought would prevent Russell Lands from putting on their annual patriotic display. After the state fire marshall banned fireworks in 33 drought affected counties, rumors have been flying around Lake Martin that there would be no fireworks show.

Fear Not! The fireworks show is on! Russell Lands General Counsel Steve Forehand confirmed in a letter that they do plan to have the fireworks display this year. Russell Lands has a “special permit from the Alabama Forestry Commission and the State Fire Marshall.

If you would like to see the fireworks, you can drive to the Lake Martin Amphitheater for the best view. It’s about a mile south of Kowaliga Bridge on highway 63. The Sweet Young Uns, Muse, and Harbor Lights will be playing after the fireworks.

By boat, you can pretty much see them at any point from Kowaliga Bridge to Martin Dam, which will be packed with thousands of boats. If you want an unimpeded view, go to the Cocktail Slough, directly north of the Amphitheater. If you go by boat, take caution. This event makes for the most dangerous time to drive a boat on Lake Martin. Combine the darkness, drunk boat drivers, inexperienced boat drivers, and (this year) exposed islands and it can be a madhouse.

Back to the Russell Lands letter – if you rent a Russell Lands cabin, watch out. Forehand Lake Martin property real estate fireworksreminds you that it is against your lease to shoot fireworks on the property – and it “could result in termination of your lease. That would be a shame.

Help Keep Lake Martin Water Level Up

HelpAlabama Power has requested to lower the required stream flow coming from Martin Dam, in an effort to keep the water level on Lake Martin from plummeting even more.  Click here for the public notice from the Corps of Engineers.

Lake martin real estate helpWillard Bowers, Vice President of Environmental Affairs at Alabama Power, made a request on May 15 to Colonel Peter F. Taylor, Commander, Mobile District, US Army Corps of Engineers, to “implement a reduction .. of flow of 10%” on Martin Dam.  He said that if they continue at the current flow, Lake Martin will be at its drought contingency level by July 4.  In short, they want to reduce the flow so that the water level on Lake Martin might have a chance of not plummeting as quickly this summer.

Col. Taylor has responded by notifying the public about this request, to give everyone a chance to have some input.  On page 3 of his notice, Col. Taylor notes that if the proposed changes are NOT implemented,  APC has indicated that the  “impact of maintaining (the current) release to the Alabama River has fallen completely on the remaining storage at Lake Martin…… Lake Martin is projected to be 14 feet below the rule curve by early August.”  I might not be right, but I read that to mean that unless something changes, Lake Martin’s water level will be at 476 by August.

What can I do?

You can contact Chuck Sumner and let him know that you support the proposed reduction in flow from Martin Dam.  Maybe you don’t support it; you can tell him that, too. 

Email:   Chuck Sumner, Inland Environmental Team
           [email protected]  (thanks Mav)

Fax:  (251)694–3815

Voice: (251)694–3857

Snail mail:

District Engineer
U.S. Army Engineer District, Mobile
P.O. Box 2288
Mobile, AL 36628–0001

DEADLINE:  10 CALENDAR DAYS FROM MAY 31, 2007

Please act now!  This won’t restore Lake Martin to its normal summer level, and might not even keep us from dipping below 480.  But at least it gives us a fighting chance!

Drought & Alabama Power Lower Lake Martin Level

Lake Martin’s water level is low this year, and it could get even lower.lake martin real estate water level

Alabama Power says
that Lake Martin’s water level started dropping on May 18 and “could be much lower on July 4.”

It is no news flash that Alabama and much of the southeast has suffered a severe drought so far in 2007.  This follows on the heels of a dry 2006.  Since part of Lake Martin’s existence depends on it maintaining a certain level downstream, it has been affected.

 

The folks at Alabama Power are not optimistic: “most streams that feed our lakes are at the lowest levels ever recorded.”

Lake Martin usually is filled to full pool, or 490 feet above sea level, by May.  As of May 15 it was just under 486, and dropping.  They are even reporting to FERC about the lower water flow.

Again, a quote from Alabama Power: “Martin is not expected to fill above 486 and will begin to drop May 18.”

Get used to it folks; prepare yourselves for reality.

lake martin real estate water alabama powerAlabama Power owns the hydroelectric Martin Dam that dams the Tallapoosa River, creating Lake Martin.  They control the water level to try and balance their power generating needs with ecological effects, recreational effects, and the commercial navigation of the Alabama River, which is downstream of the Tallapoosa.

Alabama Power is currently distributing the word through news agencies and their own press releases  that we had better be ready for a long, dry summer.

 

Related Posts:

When Does The Water Level Go Down On Lake Martin?
Mythbuster: Alabama Power Leased Lots – Lake Martin

Free Boats At The Ridge Boat Show & Spring Home Tour

lake martin the Ridge marina boat showFree boats Lake Martin!!

Russell Lands’ big event is the Russell Marine In-Water Boat Show and Spring Tour of Homes at The Ridge. It is scheduled for two weekends, April 28 & 29 and also May 5 & May 6.

For the past couple of years, Russell Lands has done a couple of the Tour of Homes deals per year at The Ridge. This year they are combining it with a Boat Show at the Ridge Marina, hence the lengthy title “Russell Marine In-Water Boat Show & Spring Tour of Homes.

Basically you can go out to the Ridge Marina and test drive some boats. I understand theylake martin the ridge tour of homes will have ski boats, Hurricanes, pontoon boats, etc. Then, you hop in the car and go on the Spring Tour of Homes at the Ridge. Each of the featured homes will have a nice new boat parked out front.

Here it is – the payoff – the “free boat – : “if you buy one of the nine feature(d) homes you will also receive a brand new boat from Russell Marine.

Considering that the nine featured homes are all priced at over $1 million, the “free boat is a nice gesture, but it’s not like it’s worth 10% of the home’s value or anything.

But, if you or any of your loved ones need a house and a boat, and would like to buy one (or all!) nine homes, and would like to receive one or nine “free boats, just give me a call, I would be glad to arrange it!

Related Articles:

Lake Martin Real Estate Spotlight: The Ridge

Hey Lake Martin Fishermen – Live Bait For Sale!

Kowaliga live bait and tackle - croppedLake Martin live bait fishermen have a new spot to buy bait.  Kowaliga Live Bait And Tackle is open for business.  The new store on Kowaliga Road (aka Highway 63) is south of Kowaliga Bridge.  In fact, it’s just south of my office, a tad north of the intersection with Highway 229.

The other day while driving to my office, I saw their sign, and I was so surprised that I chuckled.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I can’t remember the last time a new bait shop opened on Lake Martin.

Then, I was surprised that I was surprised.  Why not a new live bait shop?  Lake Martin has 700 miles of shoreline spread over 40,000 acres, and great fishing.  So why isn’t the live bait industry thriving right now?

When I was growing up on Lake Martin, if you wanted to fish, most of Lake Martin fishing real estatethe time you used bait.  You could stop by any old fillin station and at the very least they would sell crickets and worms.  It was commonplace.  In these days of clean, sparkly, mega-marts that sell hamburgers, haircuts, sub sandwiches, and also gas, the live bait selection has suffered.  You really have to hunt around to find it.  And even then, it’s hard to find the OSHA-defying oily tubs packed with minnows, and the stench, activity, and din of a room full of crickets.  To me, surviving a trip to the bait shop was half the fun of fishing.

Lake Martin is changing.  Is it just me, or are there really fewer live bait fishermen out there today?  The fish are still there.  Are they only being pursued by the plastic worm wielders and buzz bait boys?  Or are the fishermen being replaced by boaters?  I don’t fish as much as I used to; work is my excuse.  I’m looking forward to fishing a lot more this summer with my sons.

Lake Martin real estate cricketIncidentally, isn’t it also a sign of the times that the live bait guy has protected his business by forming an LLC?  Really – an actual legal entity was formed for the purposes, I assume, of “sellin crickets, worms, & minners.”  I applaud Kowaliga Live Bait And Tackle, and wish them the best of luck.  The next time my boys are at the cabin, our first trip will be to this new live bait guy.

If you have a tip on where else to find good bait – leave a comment / reply to this post and let us all know where to go…