WARWICK, Ga. (WALB) - Leadership at Lake Blackshear is continuing to monitor water levels after recent rains.
The most recent update of the Montezuma Forecast has continued to moderate slightly. The Forecast now calls for a peak flow at the Montezuma gage of 21.2 ft (42,000 Cubic Feet per Second) on Sunday Afternoon and Sunday Night.
Current Lake Blackshear water level is 234.2 feet, not quite three feet below normal, and the lake level has been stable overnight. Four gates are closed as a large amount of local water has declined. Flows being released from the lake began declining slightly at about 10PM Thursday.
They still expect the peak from the Flint River at Montezuma to pass through Lake Blackshear on Monday night March 9, and it is possible that outflow from the Lake will increase again as that occurs.
It is likely they will be able to close more gates in the next day, but then have to open some of them again as the peak passes.
“We expect Lake Level to remain approximately unchanged for the next 24-48 hours. While the Lake is below normal at the Dam, it may be above normal North of Highway 280 due to the constriction caused by the narrowing of the Lake at the RR trestle and in the Drayton Bridge area as peak flows pass through those areas,” said Steve Rentfrow, the Crisp County Power Commission general manager.
"We had no negative impacts from the rains last week and the small amounts that are forecast for this week should not cause a problem. We had no damage of any kind in our area. We had some local flooding on dirt roads and things of that nature, but nothing involving the river,” Rentfrow said.
However, they did see a different scenic view from the Lake Blackshear dam after the recent rains.
“Normally, when you’re looking at this, you see a river, you see a defined channel down through the middle and the river is several feet higher than normal and it’s spread out as a consequence, it’s probably a good six or 700 feet wider than it normally is," said Rentfrow.
However, they started taking action ahead of the heavy rains.
"We saw a prediction for higher flows and so our personnel watched those flows and when those flows actually reached our lake, we began taking actions to pass them by opening flood gates,” explained Rentfrow.
Four of the Blackshear Dams flood gates were initially opened.
On Wednesday, only three were open.
Rentfrow said checking water levels is an everyday job.
“The main thing is to make sure we’re constantly monitoring the river flows and we don’t let it sneak up on us,” said Rentfrow. ”As long as we are watching the flow and lake levels and take appropriate action by opening and closing flood gates then we can maintain the lake at a stable level.”
Rentfrow said he will keep us updated if anything changes with the water levels or if a risk arises.