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October 19, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Bobby Pharr
Entergy
(501) 844-2148
Entergy to Assist Ouachita River Low-Flow Conditions in South Arkansas, North Louisiana

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – In advance the normally scheduled winter drawdown, Entergy Arkansas, Inc. will slowly begin lowering lakes Hamilton and Catherine approximately half an inch to one inch per day beginning Oct. 24 to help mitigate low water flows on the Ouachita River in south Arkansas.

South Arkansas has been in an extended extreme drought condition, causing water levels in the Felsenthal Wildlife Management Area to drop to a level that is requiring the Army Corps of Engineers to curtail outflow through the Corps of Engineer’s lock and dam located near Crossett, Ark. This flow restriction is presenting challenges to various industry, commercial operations and municipal operations downstream of Felsenthal on the Ouachita River.

“This early lowering of lakes Hamilton and Catherine will bring them to the bottom of their normal summertime operating range before we start the annual winter drawdown, which will begin Nov. 5,” said Bobby Pharr, process superintendent of Entergy Arkansas hydro operations. “The effect on public recreational use of the lakes will be minor.”

The annual drawdown of lakes Hamilton and Catherine will be 5 feet this year. Both lakes will be slowly lowered Nov. 5 - Nov. 13. This advance drawdown will provide a small head start on the full drawdown that will begin Nov. 5.

Entergy Arkansas will gradually make these adjustments at a rate of approximately 4-6 inches per day. The water released at the dams will be used to generate emission-free, low-cost hydroelectric power. Entergy Arkansas will return the lakes to their normal summertime levels in early March 2012.

Remmel Dam, which forms Lake Catherine and feeds the Ouachita River, is currently in a non-generation mode and has been releasing the minimum flow required by the federal operating license. Maintaining minimal flow levels sustains environmental conditions downstream of the dam. “The current required level is 200 cubic feet per second of flow,” Pharr said. “This early lowering of the lakes will allow Entergy to increase flows from Remmel Dam to approximately 325 cfs in its effort to alleviate the drought impacts on the Ouachita River in south Arkansas and north Louisiana.”

Boaters should use caution while on the lakes during the entire drawdown period because additional shallow areas will exist and winter rains can increase the amount of debris washed into the lakes. Owners of boats and floating docks should also take precautions to ensure boats and docks are able to adjust to the drawdown. Failure to do so may cause damage to docks and boats. Some docks will be able to rest on the lakebed with little or no problem. If the shoreline is steep or rocky in a particular area, dock owners may need to temporarily move docks to deeper water. If relocating a dock, be sure it does not restrict navigation or become a boating hazard.

Entergy Arkansas will not require a permit for the temporary relocation of docks due to the drawdown, but the dock must be returned to its permitted location once the lake returns to its summertime level. Entergy Arkansas also recommends using a licensed electrician to make any alterations to wiring in conjunction with the drawdown.

Lake Catherine is formed by Remmel Dam and Lake Hamilton is formed by Carpenter Dam. Both were built more that 60 years ago for hydroelectric generation. Lakes Hamilton and Catherine are part of Project 271, a hydroelectric project licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The license grants Entergy Arkansas authority to manage these reservoirs and related shorelines, and operate Remmel and Carpenter dams. The license also requires Entergy Arkansas to control activities affecting the lakes’ environmental, safety and recreational values.

Permits must be obtained from Entergy Arkansas for any construction on the lake or shoreline including personal water craft ramps, boat docks, piers, walkways, swim docks, landings, embankments, bulkheads, seawalls, rip-rap, dredging and filling operations.

Changes in ownership, relocation, replacement, enlargement or significant alteration of existing facilities also require a new permit from Entergy Arkansas. The company’s guidelines are revised periodically, so anyone planning to build on Entergy Arkansas’ shoreline property should be sure to obtain the latest revision before proceeding.

Lakefront property owners needing further information on the drawdown schedule or shoreline permitting guidelines and applications for lakes Hamilton or Catherine can call Entergy Arkansas’ hydro operations office at (501)844-2148 or visit the hydro operations website at www.entergy.com/hydro. Visitors to the website may also subscribe to receive lake and flow information by email.

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.6 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and approximately 14,000 employees.

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Entergy Arkansas hydro operations’ online address is http://www.entergy.com/hydro