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UPPCO to lower water levels

ISHPEMING — As winter settles in across the region, the Upper Peninsula Power Company will begin lowering water levels at its hydroelectric reservoirs to prepare for melting snow and precipitation this spring.

UPPCO’s hydroelectric project licenses are issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and require these water-level changes.

UPPCO’s Silver Lake and Hoist Reservoir water levels will be lowered according to FERC license requirements this month. Victoria Dam, Bond Falls and Lake Gogebic reservoirs will be lowered this month as well, while Prickett Dam reservoir levels will be lowered starting in February.

“Water level changes can lead to unsafe ice conditions due to the formation of an air gap underneath the ice,” said Brett French, UPPCO vice president of business development and communications, in a news release. “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 lower periods.”

UPPCO’s hydroelectric reservoirs are expected to begin returning to their normal water levels during April, depending on the rate of snow melt and the onset of spring.

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