River-goers beware: Appalachian Power says water levels may rise rapidly starting Thursday

High temps may lead to more power generation at hydroelectric plants

ROANOKE, Va. – On Wednesday, Appalachian Power released a statement that advised river-goers to air on the side of caution beginning Thursday.

Downstream of Claytor and Leesville dams, the New River and the Roanoke River, could begin to rise rapidly on Thursday and could continue to fluctuate throughout the week to follow, according to the release.

The statement said that National Weather Service is calling for high temperatures and Appalachian Power may need to increase power generation at its hydroelectric plants to maintain the reliability of electricity across the area.

According to Appalachian Power, below Claytor Dam, water levels could increase up to two feet in a matter of minutes, and water levels below Leesville Dam could increase as much as eight feet in just seven hours.

Those considering hitting the water on Thursday or in days to follow can monitor AEP’s website for additional information regarding water levels and conditions, according to the release.


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Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.