Entergy lowers lakes
Entergy Arkansas Inc. said Tuesday it would lower lakes Hamilton and Catherine around 6 inches overnight to create a buffer for a potential inflow of water as the remnants of Hurricane Harvey pass over the state later this week.
Entergy, in a Facebook post, also said it planned to begin generating from Remmel Dam to allow the Ouachita River below Remmel to slowly fill in, which would improve its ability to handle increased releases.
Entergy said additional releases will depend on how much rain falls in the watershed for lakes Hamilton and Catherine.
“With storms like Harvey, the majority of the rainfall is on
the eastern side,” the Facebook post said. The watershed for the Diamond Lakes region is on the west side of Harvey’s current projected path.
“Depending on which model you look at,” Entergy said, the expected rain amounts vary from over 4 inches to less than a half-inch for the watersheds that feed into lakes Hamilton and Catherine.
“If the storm should track farther to the west we can expect to experience higher than normal rainfall and releases from the dams will increase accordingly,” it said.
Entergy said it expects Harvey to be out of the area on Friday, after which it plans to return both lakes back to target elevations in time for the Labor Day holiday weekend.
“As we continue to monitor the weather and make provisions to ‘prepare for the worst and hope for the best,’ we ask all lakefront owners to make sure that their facilities are secured in place and that all personal belongings are properly stored,” Entergy said.
“We’re looking at maybe 1 to
2 inches, kind of widespread, in that area, overall. Not entirely too much, especially since it’s gonna be over probably a good
48-hour period or so,” Michael Brown, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Tuesday. “It won’t be a tropical storm by the time it’s up here.”
Based on how Harvey spreads out, “it could be a much narrower area that could receive up to 5 inches or so in that area.”
Brown said there was a “low confidence” that Garland County will receive 4 to 5 inches of rain, but it is a possibility.
“It’s a high confidence of maybe 1 to 2 inches,” he said.
“That would be spread over a little bit of time, at least for that area. We’re probably not expecting anything too significant. Higher concerns are maybe along southeastern Arkansas,” Brown said.
“Just stay tuned to the forecast. Things can change. There is still high uncertainty in the exact track of Harvey. If it goes farther west than we’re predicting, then heavier rain may fall in Garland County.”
Brown predicts consistent rain to begin Wednesday night for Garland County and scattered showers until then.
Entergy said residents downstream of Remmel Dam need to be prepared for increased releases of water.
“Depending on Harvey’s impact to our area this could include significant increases in our releases. If you have equipment, animals, etc., in low-lying areas, please make early preparations to protect them from possible flooding,” it said.