En­tergy low­ers lakes

The Sentinel-Record - - FRONT PAGE - FROM STAFF RE­PORTS

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.

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