UPDATE: Smith Mountain Lake surpasses full pond level by several feet

Local News

UPDATE 11:22 a.m.: Smith Mountain Lake’s water levels managed to reach the moderate flood stage overnight, surpassing full pond level by more than three feet.

According to the National Weather Service, the Roanoke River is at 798.25 feet at Smith Mountain Lake as of 7 a.m. on Friday.

Meanwhile, Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire Rescue Department had a busy Thursday as they worked to recover boats that drifted out of slips and help local marinas secure boats against the floodwaters.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WFXR) — Some docks at Smith Mountain Lake are underwater Friday morning after Appalachian Power announced Thursday’s heavy rainfall was expected to raise water levels in the lake four feet above full pond level.

According to Appalachian Power — operator of the Smith Mountain Project hydroelectric facility in southwest Virginia — the normal full pond level at Smith Mountain Lake is 795 feet while the project’s lower reservoir, Leesville Lake, has a full pond level of 613 feet.

However, shortly before 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, Appalachian Power provided an updated statement that rather than reaching 797 feet as predicted earlier, the Smith Mountain Reservoir was instead forecasted to reach 799 feet.

However, by allowing the reservoir to exceed full pond, it will reportedly help prevent additional flooding downstream.

While there is no extreme flooding being reported in the Smith Mountain Lake area at this time, you are urged use caution since the water is up over the banks in some areas.

In fact, Appalachian Power says an increase of just a few inches in water levels can make walking docks unsafe, cause unsecure watercraft and floating docks to float away into navigation channels, and wash loose items from the shore.

In response to these high water levels, Appalachian Power encourages property owners to do the following:

  • Pay attention to National Weather Service reports.
  • Relocate any unsecured items from the lower levels of docks.
  • Watch for floating hazards, such as natural debris.
  • Secure any property around the lake, but make sure to allow for sufficient overhead clearance in slips in order to allow boats to rise without doing damage to dock roofs.

You can check out current lake levels and inflow/discharge information anytime by following this link.

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