Corps says Lanier nears record level

The Corps of Engineers says it is looking at what could be a record high water level on northeast Georgia’s Lake Lanier: the lake has been swelled by recent heavy rainfall. Some parking lots at marinas are underwater and boat owners say they are having trouble getting to their boats and securing docks.

From WSB TV…

All the rain that metro has gotten over the last couple of weeks has turned Lake Lanier into an overflowing bathtub.

Channel 2′s Tom Regan went up to the lake Thursday, where he found parking lots at marinas underwater and boat owners said they are having trouble getting to their boats and securing docks.

Over the last week, the lake has risen around five feet and it could go higher.

At Port Royale Marina, lake water covers the parking lot, cutting off access to several docks.

John Davis told Regan that he to take a shuttle boat to get to his slip. He said he wanted to take precautions in case the marina cuts off electricity to the dock.

“My heater won’t run on the boat. And my water lines might freeze up. So, I came up and drained my water tank, so I don’t have to worry about the lines freezing,” Davis said.

Across the lake, high water has many docks inaccessible.

Crews have been working for days moving hundreds of docks closer to shore. Those not moved or properly moored, run the risk of breaking away.

“We have had a quite a few docks break loose,” said Neil Mullins, with Marine Specialties, Inc.

"It’s huge danger for people out on the lake if you come across a floating dock. That’s a big hazard out there,” said Joanna Cloud, with Marine Specialties, Inc.

Then, there's the danger of electrical poles becoming submerged by the rising water.

"We really have to take a lot of precautions with everything,” Mullins said. “The power post being underwater puts us at risk and anyone around the water from getting shocked.

The lake is now at the highest level it's been in 40 years and it could go even higher as more storm runoff drains into Lake Lanier.

“There’s about 10,000 docks around Lake Lanier that are in need of attention when the water level changes this drastically,” Cloud said.

The Army Corps of Engineers could release more water from the lake, but at the same time they have to be careful that doesn’t cause flooding downstream.

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