Water levels getting high, but no flooding expected in West Point

Published 4:42 pm Tuesday, January 1, 2019

By Dustin Duncan

The Valley Times-News

WEST POINT – Officials are paying close attention to river and lake levels, as well as the forecast for the rest of the week in West Point.

According to the National Weather Service in Birmingham, the Chattahoochee River in downtown West Point was just below action stage at 12.36 feet as of Monday afternoon. The river at West Point Lake was at 634.48 feet as of the same time.

Action stage means the river banks are full and water will start going over, however, not bad enough to begin hitting streets, per National Weather Service Meteorologist Jessica Winton.

She said there isn’t any flooding forecasted as of Monday afternoon, but the banks could start to overflow slightly.

The good news is just as the banks start to overrun, the rain is supposed to move out of the area, Winton said. She said there will be a couple of dry days, but rain will be back in the area for the weekend.

The rain levels will not be similar to this past weekend when the Valley saw heavy rainfall, she said. There are precipitation chances throughout the week, but the water levels should go down.

“There shouldn’t be anything that would prompt a rise in water levels,” Winton said. “Unless something catastrophic happens, which we don’t see happening.”

The National Weather Service’s online forecast says there is a 70 percent chance of rain Wednesday during the day and an 80 percent chance of rain at night.

Moving into Thursday, the forecast shows a 70 percent chance of precipitation during the day and a 40 percent chance of rain at night. On Friday, those chances drop to 20 percent with nothing at night.

Although precipitation is in the forecast, it is not expected to be heavy, Winton said.

Even with the prospect of a favorable forecast, West Point Mayor Steve Tramell said he’s keeping an eye on water levels.

“We are confident emergency responders will be able to handle anything,” he said. “A few dry days will definitely help, but we are watching.”

Dennis Knight, Troup County emergency management director, said his office is staying on top of the forecast as well. He said he’s been in contact with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to monitor the West Point Dam, but a few dry days will be welcome.