Weiss Lake has been good so far because weve been conserving at the top of the Coosa River basin as long as we could, but weve run out of options now, said Michael Sznajderman, public relations for Alabama Power.
A no burn policy also continues in effect in Cherokee County because of the drought. The ban includes trash fires.
The utility also plans to drop the levels on Harris and Martin lakes, which are already very low.
On Martin Lake, were finding boathouses high and dry, said Sznajderman.
Weiss is now about nine feet deep on average, but will drop to about six feet by early August, about three feet below the normal summer level, Sznajderman said.
Those who work and live around the lake are worried about the impact.
It will hurt some sales, said Larry Modschiedler, who works at J.R.s Marina in Cedar Bluff. A lot of folks wont be able to get their boats out of the slips.
Larger boats such as pontoons and pleasure boats will likely have to stay in the river channels because the lake will be too shallow for them to navigate, Modschiedler said.
Donny Muse, who owns Riverside Campground in Cedar Bluff, had a good crowd at his resort in Wild Acres on Thursday. The summer months and fall crappie season are his peak times, he said.
Lower lake levels may discourage some people from coming to the area, he said.
While he is worried, he maintained his sense of humor. He joked that if the lake turns into a mud bog, hell charge more.
Mud bogs are expensive, he said.
Alabama Power in May requested the Mobile District U.S. Army Corps to release more water from Carters and Allatoona lakes in Georgia into the Coosa River to help with drought conditions.
The Corps decided they want to do a full environmental assessment, which generally takes months to complete, said Sznajderman. We are disappointed because the crisis were dealing with is now. We were hoping the corps would make accommodations because obviously there are concerns regarding the lakes.
No decision has been reached about the Georgia lakes.
Corps spokeswoman Marilyn Phipps said that they are waiting on more information from Alabama Power.
A decision hasnt been made yet because ... we need more information based on public comment, said Phipps. We didnt give them a deadline, and Carters and Allatoona are staying at the same water levels.