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      Upper Peninsula Power Company reservoir to be lowered

      The Upper Peninsula Power Company announced Friday plans to lower the water level at the Victoria Reservoir in preparation for spring runoff.

      UPPCO has substantially completed the Victoria Hydroelectric Project, and is awaiting Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval before the water level can be lowered.

      "It's an annual operating practice," said Jim Melchiori, Supervisor of Regional Generation at UPPCO. "We lower the reservoir to make room for the anticipated melting snow and spring precipitation, but this year the drawdown was delayed due to the 2013 construction."

      Melchiori added that the lower water level may create "bridging," a condition in which gaps or spaces are left under ice due to the lower water levels. This could cause some dangerous ice conditions near the Victoria Reservoir on the Ontonagon River.

      UPPCO expects water levels in Upper Michigan reservoirs to begin returning to normal in April, depending on the rate of snow melt.