DANDRIDGE (WATE) - The Tennessee Valley Authority's June 1 target date has passed for raising area lakes to their summer levels.
Just one month ago, TVA managers were not sure if several area reservoirs would be ready for the summer recreation season.
Norris, Cherokee and Douglas lakes were below where they should have been in the beginning of May. That caused local marina operators to worry about summer business.
"Since Memorial Day, it's picked up quite a bit," said Point Marina manager Michael Turner. "Lake levels were slow coming. It hurt us a little bit at the beginning of the year. I would have liked to see them bring them up a little quicker at the beginning of the year. A lot of people like to get out at the first of March, mid-March and start on the lake, and it was really low then."
Recent rainfall near Douglas Lake helped bring water to just a foot below where boaters would like to see it.
"When it starts dropping quick, we start losing customers because of the lake levels," Turner said.
Still, more rain will need to come throughout the summer to keep the water levels where they should be.
In the case of Cherokee and Norris lakes, more rainfall is needed now.
"It all depends on where the rain falls and it all depends on too, the shape of the reservoir. Not all reservoirs are created equal," TVA's Susan Jacks explained. "Different reservoirs require different amounts of rainfall and runoff to fill to their summer levels."
TVA is only letting a minimal flow out of Cherokee Lake to help keep water levels from falling even lower.
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