Abnormal River Condition Watch

An Abnormal River Condition Watch has been issued for Lake Freeman, as one of the following conditions has occurred: the previous day’s 24-hour daily average for flows at the Buffalo USGS gauge dropped to 410 cubic feet per second (cfs) or below; or the previous day’s 24-hour daily average for flows at the Winamac USGS gauge dropped to 300 cfs or below.

As of 6:22 a.m ET., July 31, 2020, the 24-hour daily average at the Buffalo USGS gauge is 401 cfs and the 24-hour daily average at the Winamac USGS gauge is 329 cfs. 

At this time, the surface elevation taken near the face of the Oakdale Hydroelectric Dam has not dropped below its normal operating range.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officers, remind the public to be mindful of their surroundings and be aware of any submerged objects in or underneath the surface of the water.  Due to the water levels objects such as tree stumps, old dock pilings and such may start to show or become a hazard to boat operators, swimmers, and tubers.

Without additional rainfall, depths could continue to be reduced. NIPSCO will continue to be in close coordination with the Indiana DNR, SFLECC, Emergency Management and other authorities to provide regular updates until levels return to normal. 

Current measurements and readings may be found below.

Learn more about our Hydro Electric Plants

We currently own and operate two Hydro Electric Plants in northern Indiana, which provide electric power to customers across NIPSCO's service area.

  • Norway Hydro Electric Plant - located along Lake Shafer in White County - was put in service in 1923 and NIPSCO purchased the plant in 1944. Norway Hydro's maximum output is 7.2 megawatts (MW).
  • Oakdale Hydro Electric Plant - located along Lake Freeman in Carroll County - was put in service in 1925 and NIPSCO purchased the plant in 1944. Oakdale Hydro maximum output is 9.2 MW.

Norway and Oakdale were licensed by FERC on October 2, 2007. NIPSCO operates these facilities as "run-of-river dams". In other words, water flowing through the dams is matched as close as possible to the water flow coming into the dams. These facilities are not flood control dams.

Current lake levels

Norway Hydro Plant
Lake Shafer

Plant Lake Level
Plant Discharge
(El in ft local datum)
(Cubic Feet/Second)
645.16
406
Refresh your browser to view updated level. Updated last: 8/8/2020 7:07:37 AM Local Time

Oakdale Hydro Plant
Lake Freeman

Plant Lake Level
Plant Discharge
(El in ft local datum)
(Cubic Feet/Second)
610.40
484
Refresh your browser to view updated level. Updated last: 8/8/2020 7:07:37 AM Local Time

Understanding plant lake levels*

The Lake Levels (Elevation in feet Local Datum) represent the level of the lakes at the hydros.

Norway/Lake Shafer FERC operating target

  • Normal: 645.15 ft
  • Low-High: 644.90 ft - 645.90

Oakdale/Lake Freeman FERC operating target

  • Normal: 610.35 ft
  • Low-High: 610.10 ft - 611.10

Understanding plant discharge levels

The Plant Discharge (cubic feet per second) represents the water flow through each plant.

  • Flood Emergency: as conditions warrant
  • Flood Warning: 13,000 Cubic Feet/Second
  • Flood Watch: 9,000 Cubic Feet/Second
  • ALF: <=300 Cubic Feet/Second**

* Change in elevation taken near the face of the hydros does not reflect or equate to the same potential change in depth for other areas of the lake. A change of .01 ft in the surface elevation equates to 1/100th of a foot or .12 inches. NIPSCO does not measure average depths.

** An Abnormally Low Flow (ALF) event occurs at the Oakdale Dam when the prior 24 hour daily average for flows at Buffalo USGS gauge drop equal to or below 410. During an ALF event NIPSCO is required to maintain 1.39 times the previous 24 hour daily average flow measured at the USGS gauge in accordance with the USFWS mandate, which could result in lower lake levels. An ALF event will end once the 24 hour average rises above 410 cfs at the Buffalo USGS gauge and hourly readings at the Oakdale USGS gauge are above 500 cfs. (This is based on USGS data.)

Sign up for alerts

Whether or not you are a White County resident, the White County Emergency Alert Program allows anyone to sign up for alerts about emergencies and other important community news including hydro updates.

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Contact information

For information on conditions along the Tippecanoe River, please call your County Emergency Management Agency.

For more information

Disclaimer

NIPSCO is providing information via this website in accordance with FERC requirements and as a public service to agencies and individuals located in Carroll, Tippecanoe, and White Counties, Indiana. The data provided herein is applicable only to the Tippecanoe River in Carroll, Tippecanoe and White Counties, Indiana. To the best of NIPSCO’s knowledge, all information provided on this website is accurate at the time of posting. NIPSCO undertakes reasonable efforts to ensure that all information is accurately updated in a timely manner. NIPSCO makes no representations, guarantees, or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, currency, timeliness or suitability for a particular purpose of the information provided on this website. The user relies on the data provided herein at user's sole risk. The user should not rely exclusively on the data provided on this website and should take all steps reasonably necessary to verify any information provided herein. NIPSCO specifically disclaims any and all liability for any claims or damages that may result from providing the website or the information contained therein.

Have an emergency?

Natural Gas: If you smell gas, think you have a gas leak, have carbon monoxide symptoms or have some other gas emergency situation, go outside and call 911 and then our emergency number 1-800-634-3524.
Electric: For any electric emergency, including a downed power line, power outage or other electric-related situation, please call 1-800-464-7726.