Smith Mtn. Lake Water Output Reduced

Franklin Co, Va. (AP) - Appalachian Power is reducing the water outflows from its Smith Mountain Hydroelectric Project.

The company says minimal rainfall in recent months and a dry forecast prompted the company to seek permission from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to reduce the water it release from the facility.

State officials approved the request Thursday.

The project has provided electricity to customers since the 1960s and can generate more than 600 megawatts for up to 11 hours. It utilizes two dams at Smith Mountain and Leesville.

To generate power, water from the upper reservoir runs through generators at the Smith Mountain dam and flows into Leesville Lake.

Officials say they are hopeful the reduced flows will meet needs both upstream and downstream of the project while protecting environmental and biological resources.

For the latest lake levels, click here.