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Water levels rising fast at Kerr Lake

Posted January 24, 2013

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— The water level at Kerr Lake has risen so fast so quickly that officials are keeping an eye on precipitation forecasts in Virginia.

Two weeks ago, the water level measured less than 293 feet above sea level. On Thursday, it was 303 feet above sea level, which is 8 feet above the level at which it's considered full.

"The lake was real far down a couple weeks ago. There were a lot of deer and all that around the edge of it, but now, it's up almost to the bridge up here at Nutbush (Road)," Kerr Lake resident Dale Ayscue said.

Boat ramps that were closed because of the low water levels have since reopened, and the rocky areas that were exposed are now underwater.

"I've never really seen it turn around from basically drought conditions to above-normal conditions in the span of basically a week," said Bryce Fleming, superintendent of the Kerr Lake State Recreation Area.

Recent rains and snow in Virginia caused the increased flow into the lake, Fleming said.

Nutbush Road bridge over Kerr Lake Virginia rains flowing into Kerr Lake

"It's what we have upstream all the way up towards Roanoke, Va., all the way up the Dan River and the Roanoke River. That's where the rainfall seems to have the biggest impact on our lake levels," he said.

He said he's not yet worried about flooding, but another 3 to 4 inches of precipitation in Virginia could start to cause problems for the lake.

Ayscue said he hopes the water level doesn't rise too much more in the coming weeks.

"It's been a long time since it's actually come over the bridge," he said. "I don't know if it would get that far or not, but it's looking that way."


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  • spikymikie Jan 28, 2013

    If your going to alarm everybody with "the sky is falling" stories, at least get your facts right. Kerr lake's normal full pool is 300 ft (straight from the Corps of Engineer website). I have been fishing on Kerr dozens of times when it was 305 ft or higher. Not news. Second, Kerr lake (Buggs Island) was built as a flood control lake by the Corp. It was designed to handle drastic water level fluctuation, and control flooding down stream on the Roanoke river. And it happens every year, at least once and usually twice. In the spring when the rains are heavy and the snows in the mountains are melting. Then again in the fall when we have tropical systems that affect the east coast. Way to go Chicken Little...

  • wardjammer22 Jan 25, 2013

    no big mystery just ask corp of eng.

  • btneast Jan 25, 2013

    There certainly hasn't been that much snow to cause the lake to jump that far that fast.

    Snow....Kerr Lake water levels? If there is any snow, it certainly would contribute to the lake's water levels, but it is mostly rain that affects that lake.

  • btneast Jan 25, 2013

    I live in Southern Wake Country and we have not had much rain.

    Precipitation in any part of Wake County has no effect on Kerr Lake. The rivers that feed it are predominantly in Virginia.

  • btneast Jan 25, 2013

    Kerr Lake water levels have always fluctuated. High in the spring, low in the fall. I have seen upriver in South Boston flood many times in the spring, and I have seen the tops of the flooded trees from low water in the coves aound Clarksville as many times as well in late summer/fall. This is not news.

  • superman Jan 24, 2013

    I live in Southern Wake Country and we have not had much rain.

  • moomoo Jan 24, 2013

    Kerr Lake water level is based on a lot of factors. Snow accumulation is one. However, rain is another and we have had a lot of rain in January. Also,the amount of rain/snow that falls in the mountains has a direct effect on the lake level here. And yes the Lake Gaston level is also based on the Kerr Lake level.

  • Ex-Republican Jan 24, 2013

    Higher lake levels were caused by global warming, just like some people claim everything else is.

  • BigSteamnTurd Jan 24, 2013

    Something very fishy here. No funny intended. There certainly hasn't been that much snow to cause the lake to jump that far that fast.

  • djofraleigh Jan 24, 2013

    The Neuse is running high for days below the dam in Wake...