STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Homeowner reacts to NIPSCO possibly drawing from Lake Shafer

Things are intensifying in White County. This comes as NIPSCO warns people living alongside Lake Shafer that it may pull water from the lake and into Lake Freeman.

Posted: Nov 10, 2020 9:03 AM
Updated: Nov 10, 2020 2:26 PM

WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—It started with a mandate from U.S. Fish and Wildlife. A mandate the organization says is backed by the Endangered Species Act, requiring NIPSCO to keep water flowing from Lake Freeman toward the Oakdale Dam to preserve what U.S. Fish and Wildlife says are endangered mussels. 

Things have now taken a sharp turn and the mandate is ruffling feathers for people living on both lakes. Natural gas and electric company NIPSCO released a statement saying in order for it to meet the federal requirements it may need to utilize the Norway Dam to draw on Lake Shafer.

"It was bound to happen because we are not getting rain," said Mike Triplett. Triplett is a homeowner on Lake Shafer. He also owns Lighthouse Lodge Bed & Breakfast on Lake Shafer.

"Lake Freeman is deeper and wider than Lake Shafer so they have more water than we do but it doesn't matter when they are taking it out at 500 cubic feet per second when only 200 cubic feet per second is coming in, it's going to drain fast," said Triplett. 

The announcement for NIPSCO to draw on Lake Shafer came as Lake Freeman water levels have dropped 12 feet and continue to drop. It's also important to note that most of Northern Indiana is experiencing an abnormally dry season.  Triplett said things have gotten out of control.

"It was logical to take it out of Shafer although we don't agree with it," said Triplett. "We'll both be in the same condition if we don't get rain, we are both going to be in the same condition very quickly."

Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife are currently waiting for a decision from judges out of Washington D.C. after having oral arguments in court on October 5th. SLFECC is hoping to have a response within 30 to 60 days. 

"They are asking for enough water to keep almost 2 feet of water above the mussels down in the lower Tippecanoe River," said Triplett. "Why can't they lower that to one foot of water, still keeps the mussels alive and saves Lake Freeman."

As News 18 has previously reported SFLECC isn't against saving endangered mussels. If things work out in SFLECC's favor the group hopes to create a plan with U.S. Fish and Wildlife that'll preserve mussels and keep Lake levels where they should be.

News 18 reached out to NIPSCO in hopes of receiving a timeline on when the company may start drawing from Lake Shafer or if it already has. 

Click here for more information on SLFECC. 

West Lafayette
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Kokomo
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 74°
Rensselaer
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
Fowler
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Williamsport
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Crawfordsville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Delphi
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Monticello
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Dry, hot & humid with thickening smoke, then Thursday storms...
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 764448

Reported Deaths: 13965
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1049701803
Lake567981029
Allen42685698
St. Joseph37253568
Hamilton37131426
Elkhart29699470
Tippecanoe23347230
Vanderburgh23106404
Porter19538327
Johnson18755391
Hendricks18012321
Madison13463345
Clark13450198
Vigo12789255
LaPorte12533224
Monroe12494178
Delaware11100198
Howard10612237
Kosciusko9736123
Hancock8707149
Bartholomew8235157
Warrick8031157
Floyd7975181
Grant7337181
Wayne7222201
Boone7145105
Morgan6886142
Marshall6323116
Dubois6267118
Cass6083111
Dearborn598578
Noble595790
Henry5939111
Jackson514677
Shelby509097
Lawrence4901127
Gibson460696
Montgomery454492
Clinton453555
DeKalb451585
Harrison450576
Whitley414745
Huntington411781
Steuben409560
Miami404073
Jasper399455
Knox387091
Putnam383762
Wabash367383
Adams351656
Ripley350471
Jefferson340486
White338954
Daviess3084100
Wells302281
Greene292285
Decatur291493
Fayette285864
Posey280435
Scott278058
LaGrange276972
Clay273048
Washington252437
Randolph247083
Jennings238149
Spencer237531
Fountain233750
Starke229859
Owen221059
Sullivan219043
Fulton207645
Jay202832
Carroll196522
Orange190556
Perry189139
Vermillion179644
Rush177027
Franklin171635
Tipton171547
Parke153616
Pike141234
Blackford137832
Pulaski122948
Newton122436
Benton109215
Brown105743
Crawford105116
Martin92515
Warren87615
Switzerland8308
Union73510
Ohio58211
Unassigned0428

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events