Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Press Release on Lake Levels

Media Release
For Immediate Release
4 April 2017

Lake rising, but no major flooding predicted

Pearl River Valley Water Supply District officials increased the discharge at the Barnett Reservoir dam to 40,000 cubic feet per second Tuesday morning in an attempt to slow the rise of the lake after Sunday night’s rain event throughout the Pearl River Basin.

The decision to increase the discharge came during a 9 a.m. conference call with the National Weather Service Jackson, the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the City of Jackson.

“At 9 a.m., the lake level was 298.49, which is the highest in recent history,” said John Sigman, PRVWSD general manger. “We are holding as much water as we’ve held in at least 10 years, and we must release it, but we can do that without endangering the City of Jackson and other downstream communities.”

During the conference call, the National Weather Service increased its forecasted crest of 34 feet at Jackson at 6 a.m. Wednesday, a foot higher than Monday’s prediction. At 34 feet, some minor street flooding will occur in Jackson but water will not threaten homes or businesses.

“That is a similar level to what happened during the high water event in March of 2016, so residents can expect the same impact,” Sigman said. “If you live in a low area along the river, you need to be aware of your surroundings.”

The increase in discharge was necessary after Monday’s predicted peak inflow into the reservoir was exceeded. The peak inflow is now forecast at 40,000 cubic feet per second at noon on Wednesday.
Spillway Road across the dam remains open in both directions, but the access road to the fishing area below the dam on the Madison County side is closed until further notice.

The public can track river forecasts online.

For the Reservoir: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=jan&gage=jsnm6

For Jackson: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=jan&gage=jacm6

The U. S. Geological Survey offers real-time looks at river gauges. There are 14 real-time gauges in the watershed above the dam that can be accessed online at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ms/nwis/current/?type=flow.

The USGS’s Jackson gauge can be found at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ms/nwis/uv/?site_no=02486000&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060

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