News Stories

Corps begins water releases from Philpott dam

Published Sept. 30, 2015

BASSETT, Va.  – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District, today, began making flood releases through the sluice gates at Philpott Dam in response to high lake levels from recent rain. 

    Philpott Dam recorded over 6 inches of rain over the last 7 days, while surrounding areas received closer to 10 inches. As a result, Philpott Lake has risen more than 12 feet.  Releases will be increased throughout the day Wednesday and Thursday by gradually opening the three sluice gates at Philpott Dam. Sluice gates allow releases beyond Philpott’s normal generating capacity.

    The District has contacted local emergency management officials to notify them about the high lake level and the water releases.  District officials have said the releases are not at a level that will cause flooding downstream. 

    With the current releases, Philpott lake levels should be much closer to normal by Friday, in preparation for possibly heavy rain forecast for this weekend.

    High water may impact the availability of recreation facilities and campground areas.  Lake officials report that water at the boat ramps is high, so launching vessels may be challenging.  There is a lot of debris in the water so boaters need to ensure they are vigilant and avoid hazards in the water. 

   The public using the Smith River needs to be aware of the significant amount of water being sluiced, and should be very cautious about hazards from near-shore features that may be hidden by the high water.  For the most current information on lake conditions, contact Philpott Dam and Reservoir Manager Craig (Rocky) Rockwell at (276) 629-4512.