Corps Releasing Water from Buford Dam to Lower Lanier
In a move that will delight snail darters downstream, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) says they’ll be releasing water from Buford Dam in order to lower the level of Lake Lanier.
Here is the official announcement from the USACE:
The [USACE] announced [5-30-18] they will begin releasing water from Buford Dam, Lake Sidney Lanier, 24 hours per day beginning this afternoon.
“Rainfall of 6-8 inches from Tropical Storm Alberto that fell in the watershed above Lake Lanier during the last 48 hours has pushed lake levels above 1073 and an additional rise is expected,” said E. Patrick Robbins, District spokesperson.
“We need to begin evacuating water from the lake to get back to the normal 1071 summer pool.”
To accomplish this, water will be released at a rate of 9,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) on weekdays and reduced to 7,000 cfs on weekends for the next two weeks. Provided no additional rainfall it is expected the lake will be back to normal summer pool level within the two-week time frame.
These releases will increase flows in the river and will curtail some normal recreation opportunities downstream for the next couple of weeks.
“Wading and other uses of the river will be impossible at these flows. Only experienced boaters should attempt navigation during this time,” said Robbins.
“We advise everyone to be aware of these additional flows and take all necessary safety precautions.”
This is good news and bad news.
For the rowing venue at Lake Lanier Olympic Park, it’s good news. The timing tower there has flooded and they’ve had to work diligently to protect the boat house on the far side of the park on Clarks Bridge Park in Gainesville.
Dock owners will be happy to see the water recede, especially if walkways or docks were damaged or flooded.
For those who fish, hike or wade in the Chattahoochee River, below the Buford Dam, the constant release of water will restrict safe access to the river for a week or two.
We urge you not to ignore the deadly danger.
Boaters in Lake Lanier are likewise urged to be cautious due to material which has floated downstream and from the shoreline. It’s not hard to miss large trees in the lake. It’s easy to hit flotsam below the surface that may be hard to see. You can repair a hole in your boat or buy a new prop. Add speed or alcohol to stupidity and you will risk your life and the lives of your passengers.
We will let you know when the USACE ceases releasing water from the dam.
Please be safe.