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May 14, 2011

Alabama Power reducing Smith Lake levels

Alabama Power is advising property owners along Smith Lake to expect reduced lake levels for the next few weeks, as the company uses a portion of its hydroelectric infrastructure not affected by the April 27 tornadoes to supply power to the Tuscaloosa area.

 The storms caused severe damage to parts of Alabama Power's transmission system that normally provide power to the Tuscaloosa area. As a result, the company has increased generation from hydroelectric facilities on the Black Warrior River in order to serve the area through different parts of the transmission system.  

 Releases from Smith Lake are required to provide generation from Bankhead and Holt dams to meet the demand while repairs are made to the transmission system that normally delivers power to Tuscaloosa from other plants.

 Because of the increased demand for power from Bankhead and Holt dams, water levels at Smith Lake are lower than normal for this time of year and may fall slightly lower over the next few weeks.

 Alabama Power representatives said the company is working to return to normal operations at Smith Lake.

 Individuals with water-related equipment and facilities are advised to stay informed of changing conditions and to be prepared to take the necessary steps to protect their property.

 For more information about hydroelectric generation schedules and lake conditions, go to www.alabamapower.com or call the company's automated Reservoir Information System at 1-800-LAKES11.

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