Carter County

Record-setting levels at Watauga Lake

CARTER COUNTY. Tenn. - Watauga Lake is breaking water level records that were just set a few months ago.

Rain, fog, and humidity are not the ideal conditions for a day on the lake, and Chester Stephens couldn't agree more. "Well it sure has put a damper on camping, fishing, and any outdoor activities," he said.

This year we are all too familiar with this weather. In fact, we are 13 inches above normal for rainfall in our area.

John Allen, excavator and owner of Bee Cliff Cabins in Carter County, says the levels are quickly rising in the river. "I've lived here in the community since I was born 66 years ago, and the river is the highest I've ever seen it," he tells us.

Back in May, Watauga Lake reached record levels at 1,966.2 feet. "It raised 36 inches in 24 hours," Allen explains.

On July 7, that record was broken.

Allen says while most people are over this wet weather, one business is benefiting from it. "The whitewater rafters, they're wearing this river out. Last week, Fourth of July week, I've never seen so many rafters," he told us.

He says he's thankful for the people protecting his property. "We're fortunate enough to have the TVA that can control the water and we're not really flooded that much."

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