RISING WATERS OF KERR LAKE CONTINUE TO FORCE CAMPERS & PICNICKERS TO LEAVE OR HEAD FOR HIGHER GROUND
As the waters push on upwards to 308 feet above mean sea level, many campers, particularly those at the NC State Recreation Areas on Kerr Lake have been forced from their sites, some told to leave, others fearful of the rising flood waters.
Expected to crest sometime today, the high water has other anxious campers keeping a watchful eye. As a number of Kerr Lake Park Watch have been camping on the western shore of the lake, an album of some flood photos has been put together on Kerr Lake Park Watch’s Facebook page: Kerr Lake Park Watch May 2016 Flood Photo Album. Members of the media are welcomed to use the photos so long as proper credit is given to Kerr Lake Park Watch.
“If there was ever a time when surprise weather dictates to us all that the US Army Corps of Engineers should go ahead and adopt the QRR (Quasi-Run-of-River) Plan, it is now,” said Lead Public Affairs for Kerr Lake Park Watch, Frank Timberlake, who was forced to move once while camping at Hibernia and said he may be forced to move again or leave by rapidly rising waters. “No one can predict when a front will dump rain, and suddenly turn around, come back and dump more. And while we’re saying open up the gates we hear from several sources, the NC Wildlife people are saying, “Don’t open the gates because the baby fish will be flushed downstream.’ QRR would help solve both those dilemmas.”
As a couple of members of Kerr Lake Park Watch toured parks this afternoon, only a few of the hardy campers who have fairly high ground sites can be found on the North Carolina side.
The water rose overnight, and seemed to be getting even higher as later lunch-time today. The sites at Hibernia that are normally on the end of the point had electrical boxes underwater — making me think it might be as late Memorial Day before they are ready to use.
QPR needs to be put in place, soon.
Open the gates, will definintely hurt the fishery at this time no doubt.But lets look at what has happened over the last month and a half.Back in late March the lake level was 307 msl.The corp opened the gates and dropped the water level 7 feet in 1 week.Then when I called and asked them why at this time in April with the spawn happening did they drop the lake so low their response was that the striper spawn was going on in the Dan River and it was better for the oxygen levels.They dropped it to also prepare for the spring rains THAT DID NOT COME,so now more damage to the fishery due to their inability to maintain a higher water level in March when it is available to have successful fish spawns for all species and the water needed for Lake gaston for Va.Beach. I suspect that even campers want a decent fishery to enjoy just as does the cities and counties that rely on this lake for their incomes.A higher pool level benefits every single person who comes to this lake with a better fishery to enjoy.A regular outflow of water would seem to be better than dumping a massive amount of water at one time that hurts everything,especially during the spawn.It never seems to amaze me that this state cannot see the benefit that building a world class fishery would be for the area as well as the whole state.