Alabama Power is giving lake residents new permitting options this summer.

The company has worked with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to streamline the process and provide more choices for those whose structures don’t meet existing guidelines.

“We want to find ways to make sure all structures around the lake are recorded in our permitting program,” said Dennis Trammel, shoreline manager for Weiss Lake. “With our new process, we are doing that and making sure structures don’t obstruct our ability to store water during heavy rains.”

The updated Shoreline Permitting Program will provide lake residents who own existing structures — called legacy structures — more options to reduce the structures’ impact on Alabama Power’s ability to store water in its flood easement. The program will also combine previous residential and legacy permits into one streamlined process, which is more straight-forward and reduces paperwork.

“This permit is a solution which enables Alabama Power to retain flood storage without significantly impacting those with existing structures who have not yet obtained a permit.” Trammel said.

Many Alabama Power reservoirs have a flood easement above normal full-pool elevation. This is an area, defined by a certain elevation, that is used to store excess water during flood-control operations at the dam. Structures and other construction in the flood easement can reduce the storage capacity of the reservoir and the company’s ability to operate the dams for flood control.

Trammel and his team have been using the updated permit with residents for the past year and a half.

“We have had great success with the new permit. It is important to us that residents have options and that we are able to work together,” Trammel said. “This permit gives us those opportunities.”

For qualifying residents with legacy structures, these options will allow them to make adjustments to their structures instead of having to remove them.

The methods below are recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for structures located in floodplains:

  •  Relocation
  •  Demolition
  •  Elevation (Legacy Permit required)
  •  Wet flood proofing (Legacy Permit required)

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