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Environmentalists blame fluctuations in Beaver Lake on global warming
Residents plan for worst
N.ASHEVILLE, TUESDAY — Recent fluctuations in water levels at Beaver Lake in north Asheville “must be due to global warming,” according to several environmental experts recently overheard at Rosetta’s Kitchen.
“I was driving up near Mt. Mitchell the other day and saw all these puddles in the parking lot that seemed like they should still be frozen this time of year,” explained Jim Hardick, as he finished up his peanut butter tofu plate. “All that runoff is headed down the mountain and will push Beaver Lake over its banks.”
The crisis is sending residents of the surrounding neighborhoods into a panic, with many calling for the city to immediately begin work on a series of levies that would drain any excess water into the French Broad River.
Some residents are not waiting on the city to take action, and have started propping up their homes on stilts and building sandbag barriers in their yards.
“We’ve got to be ready,” said local resident Randy Hayes at a recent neighborhood- watch meeting. “I saw Al Gore’s slide-show movie, I know what’s coming. By my own measurements, the water levels are rising nearly a millimeter every few days. Just a week ago the lake was nearly empty and safe. Now it’s nearing its banks, and I’m worried for the safety of my children and lawn.”
In response to these concerns, Asheville city staff released a statement stating “the lake was drained for purposes of routine maintenance and is now being refilled to its normal level.”
However, this is doing little to calm residents’ fears. Addressing many of them at a special emergency session of City Council, Council member Brownie Newman promised to take “urgent action to avert this environmental catastrophe” and called for “a subcommittee or task force to study this important issue, indefinitely.”