CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Last week’s heavy rain and flooding, combined with another system moving in this week, is creating a problem for areas around lakes and rivers such as Mountain Island Lake.
Duke Energy, who manages the lake, told Channel 9 they have started releasing water out of the lake so it doesn’t overflow.
The energy company is moving water through Mountain Island lake using two methods.
A hydroelectric station generates and allows water to move through in a slow and controlled way.
The other method is the use of a dam.
“We do have some floodgates that are minimally open,” said Tim Pettit, Duke Energy spokesman. “We do have some reservoirs that are designed with spillways, so there may be a little bit of water going over the top of the dam, but what we’re experiencing right now is on the minimal side of things.”
The reservoir at Mountain Island Lake has been steadily rising since last week’s heavy rain and while this week's weather isn't helpful, it is manageable.
“We are experiencing some high-water levels on Lookout Shoals, Mountain Island and Wateree,” Pettit said. “We expect those to remain about where they are right now as we continue to move water through that system and get lake levels down to more normal or seasonal levels.”
The water has to go somewhere -- it goes downstream into the Catawba River and if that overflows, it puts communities like Riverside Drive at risk.
The community was hit hard last year by flooding and forced several people to evacuate their homes for months.
Duke Energy officials said Tuesday that with a continuous small release of water over the next several days, the river should not rise much more than it has.
Emergency management officials said they are working with Duke Energy and the National Weather Service to monitor water levels.
Residents are also being checked on to make sure they have a plan in the event there are evacuation orders given.
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