Boone Lake is on target to begin to rise in a series of “raise and holds” of approximately two feet per week beginning March 15. As project leaders outlined in the public town hall meeting last fall, the project moves into the fluctuation and testing phase in mid-March and will continue fluctuations throughout 2021 and into 2022.
Residents along Boone Lake saw the reservoir levels raised approximately 8 feet last fall. Residents can expect to see an extended hold at 1373 feet, the level at which the internal erosion problem occurred back in 2014.
As TVA prepares for the March lake fluctuations, all property owners are asked to remove any debris from along the shoreline. This includes furniture or old docks, brush and other debris that may be piled up along the shore. Proactive removal will keep the lake and dam free of debris that could impact boater safety, destroy boat props, injure swimmers or skiers and create serious navigational hazards.
“People are putting in new docks and not taking out their old docks,” says Joe Hobbes who spearheads TVA’s vegetation management program. “We have mulched nearly a thousand acres of vegetation this year in an effort to help with lake cleanup. Now we are asking our neighbors to do their part and cleanup their properties before the lake comes back.”
Hobbes said he is working closely with both the Boone Lake Association and the Boone Dam Repair Coalition to actively encourage other neighbors to do their part. BDRC’s Mark Joseph is looking for volunteers to assist with cleanup coordination. He may be reached at email@example.com or via phone at 303.981.4654.
Lake levels should be at or near summer pool (1380-1382) sometime in the summer of 2021. The plan is to return to normal lake operations by July 2022. For more details on the proposed holds, please visit www.tva.com/newsroom/boone-dam-project.
“Target levels for raises and holds are established to evaluate the performance of the constructed wall and to collect baseline data from instruments which measure water pressures and movements within the dam and the soil and rock beneath the dam,” said Project Technical Director Chris Saucier. “While lake levels are targeted to rise at an average of 2 feet per week during the planned raise periods, the 2-foot rise over a given week may occur over a single day or may be spread over several days during the week.”
Saucier said that throughout the coming fluctuations, no changes in the lake level will be initiated without TVA determining any such raise can be conducted in a manner which provides appropriate safety for the public downstream and for site personnel.
“Deviations from the target levels may be necessary to accommodate the needs of the performance evaluation program, to ensure ongoing safety of the dam, to control potential downstream flooding, or to meet other TVA commitments to public needs,” he said.