FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As of Wednesday, Beaver Lake’s water level hit an elevation of 1,129. The top of the flood pool is 1,130.

Due to projected water intake, the Army Corp. of Engineers Little Rock district knew this critical level was about to be met.

“So we open the gates now to make smaller releases to avoid larger releases later,” says Jay Townsend, chief of public affairs for Army Corp. of Engineers Little Rock.

Rick Aldridge and his wife came to see the open dam; they say they’re camping downstream. 

“Yeah, the ranger came through a little while ago and said yeah, they’re going to open them up that the river would be up and moving rapidly, so it would be wise to stay clear of the river,” says Aldridge. 

But he was also here the last time the gates were opened all the way; he says that’s a sight he’ll never forget. 

Townsend with The Army Corp. of Engineers says we shouldn’t get anywhere close to the release level we saw back in 2015.

Even if we had to go 30,000 ft.³ per second, it shouldn’t threaten surrounding properties. 

“If we start getting over 40,000 ft.³ per second, that’s when we would really want people to start paying attention to those water levels,” says Townsend. 

If you live in the surrounding area and you would like to monitor the flow of water as closely as you can. 

Townsend says you can go to their website or download the Army Corp. of Engineers app.