Water levels on Smith Lake expected to rise as severe weather approaches


CULLMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — With the severe weather expected this week, it’s not just tornados and straight-line winds that are concerning. For those living along Lewis Smith Lake, the rainfall is already doing damage.

The owner of Trident Marina, Jeff Tolbert, said he and his crew have to watch the water levels here on Smith Lake constantly because they can change by several feet in just a day. And with the rainfall over the last week, there’s already damage done to walkways.

“We have 30 docks for parking for our restaurant that are not accessible at this point because the walkway is underwater,” Tolbert said.

In the last week, water levels have risen as much as six feet. Not watching levels can damage docks if residents aren’t attentive.

“The challenges for property owners that have docks are adjusting their cable tension with rapidly rising waters,” Tolbert said. “If they don’t let the cables out, it could cause tremendous damage or even cause the docks to break loose.”

Tolbert said one inch of rain typically amounts to one foot of water. He hopes to see the levels drop off in the next week.

Alabama Power operates the dam on Smith Lake. The company recently posted an update on rising water levels:

Due to recent heavy rains and severe weather, Alabama Power has announced that Smith Lake water levels remain above summer pool levels.
Smith Lake, located on the Black Warrior River, is expected to continue to rise as more rain is forecast later this week.
Alabama Power will continue to closely monitor conditions on the lakes and manage resources carefully. Individuals with boats and other water-related equipment and facilities should always stay alert to changing conditions on Alabama Power reservoirs and be prepared to take the necessary steps to protect their property.
Additional updates will be shared as conditions change.

Alabama Power Shorelines

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