Duke Energy Following Forecast, Warning People to be on Alert


by Morgan Fogarty
Bio | Email | Follow: @morganfogarty by Photographer Billy Carrier

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The experts say Mountain Island Lake is about two and a half feet above "full pond level" and the proof is everywhere: underwater docks, debris and flooded yards. 

Nearby, northwest Charlotte resident Tommy Daniel's property is soaked with overflowing lake water.  He moved his vehicles to dry land and he's keeping a close eye on the forecast.  He admits, "I'm starting to worry a little bit."
Duke Energy controls lake levels.  Spokeswoman Lisa Hoffmann says, "I can tell you we expect lake levels to stay about the same for the next few days as we move water through the system to get ready for additional rainfall."

Gaston County officials tell WCCB they hope more frequent regulation of water levels spare residents from being impacted like they were back in May.  They're getting water level checks three times a day.

"There are benefits to living by the water but there are also concerns and they (residents) definitely need to be aware of the lake levels," says Charlotte Fire Department Emergency Management Planner Stacie Neal.  She says more than 100 residents who live in the Mountain Island Lake area have signed up for emergency alerts via smart phone, email or landline.  Neal says the message right now is, "We're maintaining.  There's been some receding of water in yards and we hope that that trend continues."

Daniel, who was forced to evacuate his home back in May when the lakes overflowed, is ready.  He says, "I don't think sandbags really help. It's more just save what you can, get your big items out, take care of the family and hope for the best."

Emergency officials urge you to call them as soon as you need them, don't wait.  You can check lake levels online and by phone.  Go to http://www.duke-energy.com/lakes/default.asp or call 1-800-829-5253.

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