Dominion Power says recent rains have made it necessary to go into what they term "Flood Control" operation. That allows Dominion, which operates the Gaston Dam, to raise the water level in Lake Gaston above 201 feet (above sea level) to a maximum of 203 feet.
Dominion says it may have to raise the lake to 201.5 feet starting Saturday (January 28, 2017). Any time the level goes above 201 feet, Dominion says some residential docks and yards may be impacted, depending on the elevation of the property.
Homeowners are advised to check the lines on boats and to raise them in the lifts as necessary. They should also check for items on docks or in storage facilities on their docks that might be damaged by rising water.
Dominion reported “flood conditions” on Lake Gaston 10 weeks during the period from November 1, 2015 and January 31, 2016. Dominion Power says the highest the water got was 201.5 on January 15th and 30th. In all Dominion says there were only 165 hours above 201 feet.
Many homeowners challenged Dominion's report that the highest the water got was 201.5 feet. They complained the continued high water damaged their docks and rip-rap and had the potential to undermine trees along the water’s edge and compromise septic-systems.
Long-time residents along the Lake Gaston shoreline say the late December 2015, January and early February 2016 lake levels were the highest since 1999’s Hurricane Floyd, when the water rose above most Lake Gaston docks.
Anyone who has built a dock or installed rip-rap on Lake Gaston has done so with a permit from Dominion Power, which owns the lake up to a high-water mark. And that permit, Dominion reminds residents, says docks and rip-rap are installed with the understanding Dominion isn't responsible if high water causes problems.