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September 14, 2012

High Rock Lake water levels to be lowered for repair work

Water levels at High Rock Lake will begin to gradually drop over the next month. A drawdown of 7 to 10 feet below full is necessary for Alcoa Power Generating Inc. (APGI) to stabilize a section of eroding shoreline next to High Rock Dam. This project is not associated with a planned drawdown at Badin Lake this fall involving the capping of sediments.

Beginning in early October, High Rock Lake will be maintained at 7 to 10 feet below full (lake elevation 648 feet to 645 feet) until late November, when the lake will be refilled. The exact draw down schedule may vary due to rainfall and river flow. Current lake levels and project updates are available online at www.alcoa.com/yadkin
 
“Our goal is to refill the lake as quickly as possible once the repair work is completed,” said Marshall Olson, APGI Environmental and Natural Resources Manager. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we complete these improvements at High Rock Dam.”
 
Here are some important reminders to consider:
 
Low Water Levels May Present Obstacles for Boaters: Olson encourages boaters to take special precautions during the drawdown. At low water levels, the exposed shoreline may be littered with debris and underwater obstructions may be closer to the surface.
 
Impact on Boat Access Areas: The drawdown may temporarily close the Buddle Creek Access Area due to limited access. Other recreation areas, including Dutch Second Creek, Southmont and Flat Swamp, will remain open but launching and retrieval of boats may be more difficult than usual.
 
Repair and Maintenance of Piers // Excavation to Maintain or Create Boat Access: The drawdown period provides an excellent opportunity for repair and maintenance of private piers and other facilities and for excavation to maintain or create recreational boat access. Any repairs or maintenance to permitted facilities must be done in accordance with the Yadkin Project Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) and necessary County building permits must be acquired. Excavation requires prior approvals from APGI, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the North Carolina Division of Water Quality, and the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (as necessary).
 
Shoreline Cleanup: The drawdown provides an opportunity to remove debris from the shoreline and lake bottom. Floating debris, litter and trash (bottles, cans, tires, plastic containers, Styrofoam, etc.) may be removed from the lake, lake bottom, or shoreline at any time. The removal of dead trees, stumps or other woody debris in the lake, on the lake bottom, or along the shoreline must be conducted in accordance with the SMP Stewardship Policy and requires written permission from APGI.
 
The removal of artifacts, objects (tools, weapons, ornaments) of archaeological or historical interest, from the lake, lake bottom, or shoreline is strictly prohibited. 
 
Residents with questions about the drawdown should contact Alcoa at 1-888-886-1063.