Lake Blackshear sees high water levels since severe storms

The Crisp County Power Commission lake’s peak was lower than originally forecasted.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 5:30 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A plant manager and Crisp County Power Commission has control over the dam at Lake Blackshear, which has been reported to be in a high-flow event.

WALB’s Jim Wallace spoke with Plant Manager Ronnie Miller to find out the status of the water levels associated with the dam.

“Our current conditions, we’ve got to lay down about 5 1/2 feet still projecting a level of 23.2 at Montezuma, which is upriver from us,” Miller said. “So that’s a little bit more than we can pass through our gates. We can pass 44,000 cubic feet per second. That’s projecting a little over 50,000. That’s the reason for lowering the lake to make room for some of the water coming down the river.”

Photo from the Lake Blackshear powerhouse
Photo from the Lake Blackshear powerhouse(Source: Ronnie Miller)

And this is obviously something that you’ve done a lot. You’ve been the plant manager there for 38 years. Can you kind of explain to people what the idea is? How do you manage the water flow so that it doesn’t flood people’s homes?

Miller said, “Yes, Sir, what we do is we watch and monitor the National Weather Service and events like this are happening and they get projections on river levels. So as soon as we see an event developing, we start trying to lower the lake if it’s needed. So that we can make room for the water to come down. What that allows us to do is hurry or we can do. If we can pay us some of the water. So when the peaks get here, we will have room in the lake to let that water pass and also absorb some of it so that the flow leaving our dam is not as great coming down and going further down the river to impact people there and it also puts people on the North End of our lake. they see some narrower up in the North End, so this lets them keep them from getting out into banks up into their yards and homes.”

With that high flow, it’s warming up and a lot of people are getting out on the lake, enjoying it for recreation. So I know that’s something you want people to think about. If they do come out that late this week and Saturday.

Yes, we’d like to recommend that people not get on the lake until this event passes because even though it is a lake, the flows don’t look that strong. There’s a lot of heavy currents out there and you know, if you have a boat issue or something you know it can pull you down the lake and we just, recommend that people stay off the lake until this event has passed.

The Crisp County Power Commission lake’s peak was lower than originally forecasted. The river has declined and the peak is lowered. The peak water levels are expected on Friday.