Dam will lower level of Merrimack River

It’s hard to tell the level of the Merrimack River these days, due to the snow and ice, but upstream of Lowell don’t expect to see it very high in coming weeks.

Boott Hydropower, which controls the Pawtucket Dam in Lowell, said the river is being lowered due to damage to flashboards, which are the adjustable boards atop the permanent dam used to control water levels.

Boott said the flashboards were damaged by high water in the fall, and can’t be replaced “due to weather and site conditions. We are unable to predict when water levels will be returned to normal,” said the company.

The Merrimack River upstream of the Pawtucket Dam is being lowered in stages due to flashboard damage that resulted from past high water events during the fall. The flashboards are unable to be replaced at this time due to weather and site conditions. The headpond is presently lower than normal crest-of-flashboard level due to the damage, and will continue to be lowered, potentially to the dam crest level. “We are unable to predict when water levels will be returned to normal based on current weather and water conditions,” reports the company. “If you have any questions or need any additional information regarding water levels, please do not hesitate to contact us.”