NEWS RELEASE: ROANOKE, Va., May 21, 2020 – Appalachian Power, operator of the Smith Mountain Project hydroelectric facility in southwest Virginia, is advising property owners and visitors that the Smith Mountain Reservoir will exceed its full pond level by three feet Friday morning.
Normal full pond level at Smith Mountain Lake is 795 feet. The project’s lower reservoir, Leesville Lake, has a full pond level of 613 feet.
Based on updated river predictions from the National Weather Service and continued rainfall, Smith Mountain reservoir will reach an elevation of 798 feet, or three feet above full pond. Allowing the reservoir to exceed full pond will assist in preventing additional flooding downstream.
The new anticipated pond level is typically one foot above the height of a stationary dock. Property owners are encouraged to remove unsecured items from the lower levels of their docks and relocate any items along the shoreline. Shoreline property owners should also secure water craft and floating docks and take caution when walking on docks.
Smith Mountain Project is a 636-megawatt pumped storage hydroelectric facility on the Roanoke River that utilizes an upper reservoir (Smith Mountain Lake) and a lower reservoir (Leesville Lake). Combined, the project includes about 600 miles of shoreline. Water stored in Smith Mountain Lake first passes through turbine-generators in the powerhouse to produce electricity and is discharged into Leesville Lake. From there some water is released through the Leesville Dam or pumped back into Smith Mountain. The project is operated by Appalachian Power.