Here is a behind-the-scenes look at how we safely lower water levels at Lake Johnson automatically from our office. We do this to keep people safe and control the flow of water going downstream during a major storm, like a hurricane. By lowering water levels, there is less water in the lake when the storm reaches our area. This means that less water will flow out of the dam downstream because there is room for the lake to fill back up during a storm.
We use a camera and online dashboard to manage water levels at the lake in real time. This is helpful before, during, and after a rainstorm. We can:
- Safely open valves and lower water levels to limit impacts from flooding;
- Make sure water isn’t leaving the dam too fast (only about one - two feet per day to reduce water levels);
- Fix issues with water flow that could impact people downstream; and,
- Keep staff safe since they can operate the dam from a distance.
This article was originally published for National Dam Safety Awareness Day (May 31).