The Board of Twin Lakes has debated for years about how and when and why to use the lower valves of our three lakes. This was recently discussed again by the Board, and the decision was made that Twin Lakes would not implement a policy to use our lower valves to specifically prevent flooding to private lakeside lots (in other words, to try and micro-manage water elevation levels), for the following reasons:
- The State of Virginia does not require or recommend that lake communities have and/or adhere to such a policy (although we are required to ensure that our lower valves function properly)
- Our experienced dams engineer has recommended against such a stated policy for numerous reasons.
- Defining and executing a discrete policy for precise water elevation management is impractical, for 3 lakes and ever changing weather conditions.
- Having such a policy commits the association to carrying it out, and implies a level of responsibility and legal liability that the association cannot afford to take on.
- The association is not, and cannot be held, responsible for the position, grading, elevation, and/or flooding of homes and properties in Twin Lakes, lakeside or anywhere else, as the association has no control over any of those things.
- Twin Lakes has never had such a policy in the past, nor do other lake communities.
- Rising and falling water elevation is a fact of life, when living next to any body of water.
Lake Shenandoah has now been returned to its original water elevation, after a brief period this year where the water elevation was determined to be too high- which prompted the Board to institute extraordinary measures to try and limit flooding caused by severe rain events (with mixed results). Those conditions have been corrected, and those measures will no longer be taken. Lake Shenandoah will be managed according to the same policies and practices that apply to the rest of our lakes.
(TLOA retains the right to open the lower valve in extreme weather events in order to protect our dams from damage and possibly avoid activation of the auxiliary spillway- although we are told that during truly extreme rainfall we can do little other than delay that for a while…).
The Board is working on putting more information online about potential flooding on our site, including lake Inundation Maps developed a decade ago, so that all property owners can be better informed about what to prepare for.
As always, you can address comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.