Lights and Announcements

Public Warning System

For the safety of all those who use the Cheat Lake facility, a 1,000-foot exclusion zone is marked by warning buoys upstream of the Lake Lynn dam. Four red warning lights provide warnings to boaters on the lake that they are nearing the dam.

Additionally, a public warning system for rapidly rising water on the Cheat River has been installed in the first mile of the tailrace below the dam. Lights and speakers are located both near the powerhouse and along the riverbank. A 1,200-foot (400-yard) exclusion zone will be maintained downstream of the dam. Please be alert to the following conditions and warnings:

Warning for minor flow increases:

  • Continuous yellow lights and a series of single tones – Caution is urged.

Warning of more significant flow increases:

  • Red light and a series of double tones followed by a pre-recorded voice message – Rapid rise expected. Leave the water immediately.

The red-light warning system is used in the following circumstances:

  • Three minutes prior to the start-up of generation. (This includes the 1,200-foot exclusion zone.)
  • Fifteen minutes prior to opening a trash gate.
  • Fifteen minutes prior to the beginning of any tainter gate opening operations scheduled during high-flow conditions. (Once started, the warning will be repeated every 10 minutes until the station operator determines that no further tainter gate operations will be needed.)
  • Any time a station operator witnesses a violation of the exclusion zone.
  • Any other time the station operator believes the need arises.

Cheat Lake Reservoir Swimming Safety and Rules

Open-Swim Policy

With the exception of areas posted with no swimming signs at the Cheat Lake Park and Trail complex (click here for a map) the Cheat Lake reservoir operates under a “Swim at your own risk” policy. Lifeguards are not on duty.

Due to hazardous shoreline conditions swimming is not permitted from the shore along the north trail to the vicinity of the Rubles Run Bridge. Due to boating traffic, swimming is not permitted under the Rubles Run and Morgan’s Run embayment bridges and in the immediate vicinity of the day dock area by Restroom #3.

In the area between the dam south to the exclusion buoy line no boat traffic or lake swimming is permitted.

Visitors to other areas of the Cheat Lake reservoir also swim at their own risk and are reminded that boats, other water traffic and other hazards may be present that may pose a risk to swimming activities.

During daylight times when the park & hiking trail is open to the public this area is patrolled by uniformed park security personnel. Visitors are urged to be vigilant when their children are swimming. Park visitors are also reminded to follow all posted park rules and regulations.

Public Notification System

Public safety is our first priority. The Lake Lynn hydro plant has an upgraded public notification system in the event of an emergency at the facility. The system can simultaneously send alert notifications and updates to local residents via home phone, mobile phone or text messaging. It is designed to contact people living downstream from the dam to the Masontown area on the Monongahela River.