All eyes are on Chesterfield/Dinwiddie’s Lake Chesdin, which is at its lowest level on record. NBC12 viewers are emailing to know if Chesdin will fill back up after recent rain.
First, let’s look at what Lake Chesdin is. It’s a man-made reservoir–a dammed section of the Appomattox River that holds water for us to use. The Appomattox is a much smaller river than its neighbor to the North (the James River) and it drains much less area than the James.
This map illustrates that nicely:
The Appomattox River’s headwaters in are Appomattox County East of Lynchburg. It then flows through Farmville to Petersburg, eventually joining up with the James River at Hopewell. In the middle of that journey in southern Chesterfield, the waters of the Appomattox pause at Lake Chesdin where some is removed by the Appomattox River Water Authority.
It’s then treated and used by surrounding counties/cities. Heavy rain between Lynchburg and Chesterfield would be the recipe for filling Lake Chesdin back up.
So what happened with the rain on Monday/Tuesday? There was a good 1-2″ soaking of rain along the headwaters of Lake Chesdin– and the Appomattox River showed a response, stabilizing the Reservoir.
Click here for the River Level of the Appomattox at Mottoax. It’s the last river gauge before the reservoir: the river is going up VERY slightly and will likely have slower response to the rain ( a couple of days) than you might think. The heavy rain of 9/29-9/30 could be just what the doctor ordered. If the Appomattox reaches flood stage in a couple of days, the Reservoir would quickly start filling back up.