UPPCO urges caution at hydroelectric reservoirs
MARQUETTE — As winter settles in across the region, Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO) will begin lowering water levels at its hydroelectric reservoirs to prepare for melting snow and precipitation during the spring of 2022. UPPCO’s hydroelectric project licenses are issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and require these water level changes.
The Silver Lake, Hoist, Victoria Dam, Bond Falls and Lake Gogebic reservoirs will be lowered during the month of January. The Prickett Dam reservoir levels will be lowered starting in February. These changing reservoir levels may impact unsafe ice conditions.
“Water level changes can lead to unsafe ice conditions due to the formation of an air gap underneath the ice,” according to Brett French, UPPCO vice president of business development and communications. “Increased water flowing through the rivers may also cause the ice to deteriorate, creating unsafe ice conditions to develop. We are asking everyone to exercise caution around the hydroelectric reservoirs and nearby rivers, lakes and streams during the lowering periods.”
UPPCO’s hydroelectric reservoirs are expected to begin returning to their normal water levels during the month of April, depending on the rate of snow melt and the onset of spring.