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Drivers passing over the Uwharrie River on US 64 can see what looks like reclining levels. One city official said not to worry ... yet.    Eric Abernathy/Randolph Hub

Lower water levels on Uwharrie River not a concern for now

ASHEBORO — If you’ve driven over the Uwharrie River on the US 64 bridge lately, you may have noticed that much of the stream bed is visible as the water has receded from its banks.


That section of the river is the very northern portion of Lake Reese, which has been supplying water to the City of Asheboro. Michael Rhoney, director of Water Resources for the city, said the drop in the water level is a combination of the recent drought and drawing off water for consumers.


The city has been using water from Lake Reese while Lake Lucas, the primary source of city water, has been shut down indefinitely. Rhoney said the Lake Lucas intake structure is in need of replacement and that it could be two or three years before that happens. He said the city is looking for funds to replace the structure, there will need to be a design process and then construction.


Meanwhile, the city could still use Lucas as a backup if needed. “Lake Lucas is still full,” Rhoney said. “If we had to, we would draw off Lucas.”


As for the drop in the Lake Reese levels, Rhoney said, “There’s no concern right now. We can draw off Lake McCrary, like we did in the 2007 drought.”


Rhoney said that in 2007, the Lake Reese water level had dropped 10 to 12 feet. That’s not the case today, he said, while adding that a good rain would be welcome.


Construction on the Lake Reese dam began in 1980 and the project was completed in October 1985, he said. The lake was built to add to Asheboro’s water reserves.


“Lake Reese makes our job a lot easier,” Rhoney said.