Local News

Water levels rising fast at Kerr Lake

Posted January 24, 2013 3:29 p.m. EST
Updated January 24, 2013 6:30 p.m. EST

— 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.

"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."