Local News

Fallen Lakes

Posted April 2, 2004

— Rainfall totals this year are below normal. But that's not the only thing behind low water levels in Lake Gaston and the rivers it feeds. As WRAL's Fred Taylor reports, the trickle down theory is leaving some boats.. sitting in dirt.

The View from Bill Donahue's dock on Lake Gaston is breathtaking. The view of his shoreline is heartbreaking.

""BILL DONAHUE/LAKE GASTON: BUT EVERYBODY THAT I KNOW OF, THEY ARE ALL COMPLAINING ABOUT THE SAME THING. NO WATER"" Here's why.. Kerr Lake feeds Lake Gaston..which feed s Roanoke Rapids Lake which feeds the Roanoke River. When Kerr Lake reduced how much water it released.. and our rain slowed down.. it created some dry times downstream.

Recent pictures explain while Donahue can't launch his boat because the water isn't deep enough.

""DONAHUE: PLUS THAT ENGINE GOES DOWN ANOTHER 6 TO 8 INCHES SO THAT'S HOW MUCH WATER I'VE GOT TO HAVE TO FLOAT THIS BOAT""

FRED TAYLO9R/LAKE GASTON: WATER STAINS ON DONAHUE'S DOCK GIVES A GREAT ILLUSTRATION OF WHERE THE WATER LEVEL SHOULD BE AND WHERE IT IS NOW"" ""BILL THORNTON/DOMINION POWER : WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF WORKING TO IMPROVE THE WATER LEVEL FROM KERR LAKE RIGHT NOW""

Dominion Power also has a role in the low water levels. It uses Gaston to generate power, but didn't react quick enough to keep water levels up when Kerr Lake tightened the taps. ""THORNTON: DOMINION PROBABLY DIDN'T DO AS GOOD A JOB AS IT SHOULD HAVE IN REACTING TO THAT CHANGE IN WATER FLOW""

Dominion says the water level fluctuation of less than a foot is within it's license requirements. That's the wrong answer for property owners who can't launch their boats.

""I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE DOING""

Dominion Power is making changes to put more water in Lake Gaston. They say it'll take a couple weeks before boat owners see a difference.

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