MOBILE - As drought conditions persist within the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will increase releases from Lake Sidney Lanier and West Point Lake.
"Since May, USACE has been operating under drought operations, allowing the ACF projects to meet system requirements through prolonged drought and to potentially regain storage." Lisa Parker, Deputy Public Affairs Officer said.
USACE has been making minimal releases from Lake Lanier to meet minimum flow requirements at Peachtree Creek near the city of Atlanta.
The next two week forecast predicts no rain within the ACF basin. Lake Lanier and West Point must now make greater releases to meet the downstream needs at Lake Seminole and at Walter F. George as it begins to run out of storage.
The Flint River has been extremely low since May and is currently experiencing historical low flows, therefore all flows to meet downstream requirements must come from the Chattahoochee.
Rain events have occurred in the upper reaches of the Chattahoochee, but most rainfall amounts that contributed to runoff into the river fell above Lake Lanier, leaving the rest of the basin south of the lake dry.
The months of September and October are typically the driest months in the year. It is expected that the water levels at Lake Lanier and West Point Lake will continue to decline as drought conditions persist throughout the southeast.
Lake Lanier is expected to begin dropping up to half-a-foot per week beginning October 29 and West Point Lake may drop up to a foot-per-week over the next few weeks.
USACE advises boaters to take extra precaution due to lower lake levels. Boaters should be alert for underwater obstructions such as shallow areas, rocks, stumps and trees.