From NIPSCO – An Abnormal River Condition (ARC) Warning has been issued for Lake Freeman, as surface elevation levels as measured at the Oakdale Dam have gone below the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) required minimum operating level of 610.10 ft. and we are continuing to experience abnormal river conditions.
As of 6:21 am EST, August 16, 2020, the surface elevation taken near the face of the Oakdale Hydroelectric Dam was measured at 610.04ft. below the normal operating target of 610.35ft. The change in surface elevation measured at the hydro does not reflect or equate to the same potential change in depth for other areas of the lake. Surface elevation is the relative measurement to sea level, local datum. A change of .01 ft in the surface elevation equates to 1/100th of a foot or .12 inches. NIPSCO does not measure average depths.
Currently, the 24-hour daily average for flow is 414 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the Buffalo USGS gauge and 290 cfs at the USGS Winamac gauge. An ARC event will be lifted once the 24-hour average rises above 410 cfs at Buffalo and the 24-hour average rises above 300 cfs at Winamac.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers, remind the public to be mindful of their surroundings and be aware of any submerged objects in or underneath the surface of the water. Due to the water levels objects such as tree stumps, old dock pilings and such may start to show or become a hazard to boat operators, swimmers, and tubers.
Without additional rainfall, depths could continue to be reduced. NIPSCO will continue to be in close coordination with the Indiana DNR, SFLECC, Emergency Management and other authorities to provide regular updates until levels return to normal.