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I&M to Delay Raising River Level at Elkhart Hydroelectric Plant

March 21, 2024

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) will be delaying the annual process of raising the water level upstream of the Elkhart Hydroelectric Plant on the St. Joseph River to its normal spring and summer level. I&M performed maintenance work during the winter months that will continue into the spring and must be completed in order to raise the water levels.

“We understand that the adjusted timeline will affect those who rely on the reservoir for everything from recreational enjoyment to economic development opportunities. We tried to avoid doing work in the spring and summer months and apologize for any inconvenience this causes. We know how important the lake and river are to the community, and this work is necessary for us to be able to raise water levels,” Katie Davis, I&M vice president of external affairs and customer experience, said.

Work is scheduled to begin the week of April 1. Once the maintenance work has been completed, water levels will be raised in 6-inch increments with the goal to slowly increase the current reservoir level by 2 feet until it reaches normal summer level by Memorial Day. It is possible water levels could remain lower for a longer period of time if complications arise.

During the maintenance process, it may become necessary to reduce water levels with little or no advance notice. I&M is cautioning affected customers who have not already put boats and other watercraft in the river to consider waiting until work has been completed. I&M is aware some parties may have already put their crafts in the water, and we leave it up to their discretion whether or not to take them out. Water levels were lowered 2 feet in December 2023 and will remain at these levels, or potentially lower, until the work is complete.
“We are doing everything in our capacity to meet that desired timeline and avoid complications that might result in leaving the water levels lower for a longer period of time. At the same time, we believe it is important to be transparent and let the community know that the possibility does exist. Our goal is to complete this project as quickly and safely as possible,” said Davis.
I&M will keep customers updated on the work in the area of its hydroelectric facility and the timeline for returning the reservoir to spring and summer levels.
Customers who have questions can contact I&M customer service at 260-408-3724 or IMCustomerService@aep.com. Project updates will also be available at www.IndianaMichiganPower.com/News.
I&M runs the Elkhart Hydroelectric Plant in accordance with its license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Elkhart Hydroelectric Plant has been owned and operated by I&M since 1913. It is one of six run-of-river hydroelectric plants on the St. Joseph River. “Run-of-river” means all the water coming into the plant from upstream is passed through downstream of the dam (i.e., inflow equals outflow). Combined, I&M’s six hydroelectric facilities generate more than 22 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 15,000 homes a year.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information. 
Stephanny Smith
Communications Director


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