Lakes lowered in anticipation of Hurricane Isaac | Weather
HOT SPRINGS, Ark (KTHV) -- Entergy Arkansas is lowering the levels of Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine as a precaution in preparation of Isaac.
Hot Springs Public Works Director Denny McPhate says they tested their flood warning system in downtown Hot Springs Wednesday afternoon.
"We're going to do an audible and then we'll do a voice that says it's a test. Ready to go!" says McPhate.
It's a sound he wants to hear Wednesday because he and his crew are making sure emergency signal is ready for storms -- and flooding-- like Isaac could bring to Hot Springs.
"Ran a test. We had 10 people in the field around that zone to listen to the audible to listens to the tones to see how clear they were." McPhate says a siren like this could be a lifesaver--and this test is part of a successful rescue.
"We'll get some feedback from the group, make sure that 3 sirens are going to cover the downtown area that we need covered."
Entergy crews are also making arrangements for the expected arrival of Isaac. Ted Smethers is theSenior Technical Support Specialist for Entergy and says Hot Springs is in the heart of a river valley--and highly susceptible to flooding.
"Lakes Hamilton and Catherine were not designed for flood control. That said we want to try to do what we can so we pulled those lakes down in an anticipation to give us a little bit of storage and help us as best we can." says Smethers.
Both these officials say the focus is keeping a close eye on the forecast.
Smethers says, "When we get a forecast of 4 to 6 inches of rain we'll try to pull the lakes down ahead of time."
"In 1990 we had 5 feet of water where we're standing right now from a storm we had back then!" says McPhate.
"We may call some guys in on overtime because in order to open the spillway gates we have to have a man at the dam. The dams are not normally staffed 24/7 so we will have to use some overtime to respond to this flood, but we can handle it." says Smethers.
We have a special section dedicated to tracking Tropical Storm Isaac on our website. It has an interactive radar of the storm and all the latest pictures, videos and stories.