UPPCO to lower water levels at hydroelectric reservoirs

Photo courtesy: Michigan DNR/UPPCO; The Victoria Dam on the West Branch of the Ontonagon River.

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO) will begin lowering water levels at its hydroelectric reservoirs in anticipation of melting snow and precipitation during the spring of 2019. These water level changes are required by the hydroelectric project licenses that are issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The water levels at UPPCO’s Silver Lake, Hoist (Dead River), Victoria Dam, Bond Falls and Lake Gogebic reservoirs will be lowered during the month of January. Prickett Dam reservoir levels will be lowered starting in February.

UPPCO wants to remind the public that water level changes can lead to unsafe ice conditions due to “bridging” (creation of an air gap beneath the ice). Increased water flowing through the rivers may also cause the ice to deteriorate, creating unsafe conditions on ice surfaces.

As always, members of the public are urged to be careful around reservoirs and nearby rivers and lakes. UPPCO expects its reservoirs to begin returning to their normal water levels during the month of April, depending on the rate of snow melt and spring precipitation conditions.

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