Fire at Lake Wateree Dam
Late yesterday afternoon a breaker box on Wateree Hydro Dam Unit 3 caught fire. All units are currently unavailable. Units 3, 4, and 5 will be out of service for an indefinite period of time. We are working to bring Units 1 and/or 2 back to service. Duke Energy has reduced releases from upstream hydro stations and does not currently anticipate spilling at Lake Wateree, however, all depends on being able to bring back a generating unit to move water.
I will keep you updated as I am updated from Duke. A similar message is on their website where lake levels are available.
Good news. Wateree Unit 1 returned to service a few minutes after 10:00 this morning. Technicians are working to get Unit 2 into service. It appears all remote communications for Unit 2 are working, which is encouraging.
After returning Unit 2 to service, hopefully later today, attention will then turn to returning Units 4 and 5 to service. Unit 3 will be out-of-service for potentially six months.
Having Unit 1 running gives us limited control over lake levels and under normal conditions we do not expect Lake Wateree to spill. However, even if Unit 2 returns to service our capacity to release flow through our generating units and avoid spilling will be diminished by 60%, compromising our ability to respond to significant rainfall events.
The last update from Duke Energy has Hydro Units 4 and 5 have returning to service. Unit 3 is not coming back any time soon, therefore 4 of 5 turbines are back in operation.
This will be the last update of the day. Have a good weekend!