UPDATE: 2:30 p.m.
Alabama Power says the water level at Smith Lake is decreasing after reaching a peak of 520 feet, 11 inches. With no rain in the forecast for the next week, it's expected the water level will continue to go down.
Alabama Power is notifying property owners south of Smith Lake dam to be alert to the possibility of water coming over the spillway as the lake level is close to the 522 foot spillway level.
Over the past two weeks, heavy rains have raised the level of Smith Lake. According to Alabama Power, the lake is expected to reach 521.7 feet by the end of the day Thursday.
The company said it is keeping law enforcement and local officials updated but is also notifying residents who could be affected if a localized area of County Road 43 to the Mill Creek bridge directly south of the dam site becomes impassable due to spillway activation.
Smith Dam does not have spillway gates or floodgates. Instead, it has a natural, geological spillway designed to allow the lake to overflow safely when it reaches an elevation of 522 feet.
The National Weather Service out of Huntsville has issued a flood warning for west central Cullman County until noon Thursday. The warning notes that "widespread, life-threatening flooding is not expected, and this warning only pertains to shorelines and property immediately along the perimeter of Smith Lake in Southwestern Cullman County."