River level drops as dam work continues

The Merrimack River will be getting lower today, as repairs continue on the Pawtucket Dam in Lowell, Mass., and stay lower for about two weeks.

If all goes as planned, the river in New Hampshire will be lowered several feet and stay low until Oct. 3, according to the announcement from Enel North America, which owns Boott Hydropower, the company that controls the Lowell dam.

The lowered river will allow continued maintenance of flashboards, which make a moveable wall atop the permanent dam. Flashboards are used to control water levels as needed for hydropower and flood control.

Flashboards take the brunt of damage on dams, because they are struck by objects carried downstream. The river was lowered for similar repairs at the beginning of the summer, but repairs are taking longer than expected.