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Fall rafting season set on West Virginia's Gauley River

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The fall rafting season on West Virginia’s Gauley River gets started this week.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin lowering Summersville Lake to its winter level through releases at the Summersville Dam starting Friday. The weekly releases will continue through Oct. 18.

The releases form more than 100 rapids on the Gauley, which drops more than 650 feet (198 meters) along its 24-mile (38.6-kilometer) route in southern West Virginia.

Rafters along a stretch of the nearby New River also will notice a change in river levels and conditions. Starting Tuesday, a two-month project at the Hawks Nest Dam will cause parts of the river to rise.

The Hawks Nest Tunnel has diverted water from the New River to power a hydroelectric plant since the 1930s. The tunnel will undergo an inspection in which a nearby reservoir will be lowered by 25 feet (7.6 meters).