Neighbors Prepare for Possible Flooding Near Lakes & Rivers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – This week’s forecast is especially concerning for neighbors living along local lakes and rivers.

“It’s all about having that reservoir beforehand, lowered enough to catch the rain,” explains Catawba Riverkeeper Brandon Jones.

Jones says heavy rain in the forecast is always a balancing act for Duke Energy.

Keep lake levels too high, and you could see flooding like on Riverside Drive in June 2019.

But… “Drop the reservoir too much, and then we don’t get enough rain, then the reservoirs are empty, and then we could go into a drought,” Jones explains.

Duke Energy says it is moving water aggressively through the system in an attempt to prevent flooding.

“We want people to begin taking this seriously, especially if you live in a flood-prone area,” says Duke Energy spokesperson Kim Crawford.

Crawford says the company is predicting six inches of rain along the Upper Catawba Basin, with a chance of much higher amounts in isolated spots.

“Certainly feeling fairly confident now it is going to be a significant rainfall event,” Crawford says.

After last year’s flood, Duke faced criticism about how it managed lake levels.

Neighbors say they’re worried the same thing could happen again.

“Obviously, you start moving water when you get the forecast, you can’t just empty a lake out before you have a forecast since we’re using the lake for recreation and water supplies,” Crawford says.