Local News

Low Lake Levels Pose Boating Hazard

Posted August 31, 2007

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— The drained lakes caused by the continuing drought across North Carolina initially led to water restrictions and could soon result in boating restrictions.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said area lake levels are so low that boaters are constantly in danger of hitting something that was safely underwater just days or weeks ago.

The dangers "could be stones, rock formations, trees," said Tom Freeman of the Corps of Engineers. "Falls Lake has a very varied terrain. It has wide open expanses. It has narrow, more river like settings."

Falls Lake is down almost 5 feet from normal levels, while Jordan Lake is down more than 3 feet and Kerr Lake is down almost 7 feet. Lake Gaston, which is controlled by a dam, is slightly above normal levels.

Freeman said the water level at Falls Lake is dropping so fast that it's impossible to keep up with warning markings for boaters, which means boaters have to look out for themselves.

"You've got to use diligence and watch the lake closely," he said, adding that the lake is about 3 feet above the lowest level recorded two years ago.

Boater Joanna Gleeson said she was on the lookout as she cruised the lake Thursday.

"I kind of was expecting it to be this low. In fact, we were afraid that we might not even be able to try out the boat," Gleeson said. "You just need to be really careful."

3 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • piedpiperofwake Sep 1, 2007

    An even better idea!!! While the lake is low get the equipment out and pull out the hazards and start dredgeing the lake. Yes that it make the lake so it holds more water! Eliminate the water storage problem and help recreational users all at once. Or is this to simple an idea for the Corp of Engineers, and the State to grasp....

  • Fun Sep 1, 2007

    One would think with the "low water" the Corps and NC Wildlife would take this opportunity to better mark hazards. So "next year" it would be a better situation for boaters. But dont count on it....it's a governmental thing

  • Made In USA Sep 1, 2007

    BOATERS I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT, AT LEAST AT JORDAN LAKE. MANY AREAS ARE NOW DANGEROUS. YOU WILL HIT BOTTOM SUDDENLY AT CERTAIN UNMARKED PLACES. YOU WILL TEAR UP YOUR BOAT. YOU MAY KILL ONE OF YOUR PASSENGERS. YOU WILL NOT SEE IT COMING. IT WILL HAPPEN IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE. PLEASE GO SLOW! PLEASE FORCE EVERYONE TO WEAR A LIFE-JACKET. PLEASE MAKE EVERYONE BE SEATED AND POSITIONED FOR AN ABRUPT STOP. HAVE A CELL PHONE ON BOARD. YOU ARE RISKING LIVES IF YOU DON'T TAKE HEED TO THESE WARNINGS!!!!! JUST STAY HOME IF YOU DO NOT KNOW THE LAKE YOU ARE GOING TO LIKE THE BACK OF YOUR HAND. DON'T BE STUPID AND KILL SOMEONE YOU LOVE CAUSE THAT'S WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DON'T TAKE PRECAUTIONS AND SLOW DOWN.