SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE NAVIGATION SIGNS NOW COMPATIBLE WITH COAST GUARD STANDARDS
ROANOKE, Va., July 30, 2014 – Appalachian Power, operator of the Smith Mountain Project hydroelectric facility in Southwest Virginia, has completed installation of new lateral marks—or in–water navigation signs—that are now in keeping with other waterways throughout the U.S. About 265 signs have been replaced on the 20,000-acre Smith Mountain Lake, the upper reservoir of the two-lake project. The completion of this sign replacement effort will make it easier for all boaters to navigate more safely around Smith Mountain. Because these signs are United States Coast Guard approved and more visible by color and shape, boaters who are not residents or regular visitors will be somewhat more familiar because of experiences at other locations.The new signs show the direction the boater is going and his or her position on the lake using two different shapes and colors along with letter and number combination. Triangle-shaped signs using two shades of red will indicate the boat is moving toward the headwaters if seen on the right side of the craft. If the green-on-green lettered rectangle is on the right, the craft is moving toward the dam. Letters on the signs indicate the channel where the marker is located. For example, “R” is the Roanoke River channel, “B” represents Blackwater, and “C” stands for Craddock Creek. Numbers begin with “1” just above the dam and go up as the boater moves upriver. Appalachian has also changed flash rates on the lights located above the lateral marks. Boaters at night will see a “slow flash”—about once every two seconds—in the main body of the lake. A faster flash rate is located on markers at turns or at the entrance to a channel. Appalachian has completed the project in cooperation with the Tri-County Lake Administrative Commission, the Coast Guard, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and other stakeholders.