Lake Martin HOBOs President Jesse Cunningham announces that Alabama Power is taking a major step by requesting to hold more water in the lake during the next few winters. Cunningham reports in an email, “I received word on Friday from Charles Stover with Alabama Power that they have just filed a request with FERC” to increase the winter water level to 483 from 480. Three extra feet spread over 44,000 acres means that we would need a heck of a lot less rain to get to full pool of 490.
This will please Lake Martin property owners that might have access to the lake at 483, but not the normal winter level of 480 msl. The higher winter water level will give more recreational opportunities to boaters, skiers, and anglers. The higher the water, the easier it is to launch a boat, and the easier to navigate and enjoy.
Alabama Power is applying to renew their permit to operate Martin Dam. Before they request any big change, they must submit reams of data to prove to FERC that any operational change will have minimum impact. Maybe this awful drought that we have been suffering will give Alabama Power more ammo to prove the obvious point – more water in Lake Martin is a good thing. I think they used to fear holding too much in case of a hurricane or flash flood. But these days, with them computers and what all, we can predict precipitation much more accurately, and we have plenty of time to open the gates in case of a flood.
Sure, this probably won’t help us this winter, but every winter thereafter will be great. Kudos to Alabama Power and every Lake Martin affinity group that helped push this idea. Let’s hope FERC approves it!