Because of some issues with continued rain across the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has delayed heavier releases from Buford Dam until Friday.
USACE spokeswoman Lisa Parker said from her Mobile, AL office on Thursday that the releases should begin on New Year's Day.
"We had some rain events that came into the area and we had to take that into consideration," said Parker. "Of course, this could still affect next week's releases, as well, because as rain events come in, we have to make a determination at that time about how much water came into the system and take a look at it."
Parker said the high level of Lanier (1075.40 at 2:15 p.m. on December 30) is a concern to Corps officials, but for now, they have to protect the entire ACF basin.
"It [Lake Lanier] is functioning as it's designed to do, which is to hold back flood waters when necessary," said Parker.
Still, she said holding the level that high for a long period of time can damage residential property, marinas and Corps-managed parks, too.
In fact, several parks have been closed since Monday evening when water from the lake began covering parking lots and courtesy docks. The rain has also washed a large amount of debris into the lake, and Parker said that's a safety issue. She said there's the possibility of erosion at some of the park swim areas. Plus, Parker said the concrete on the boat ramps could be damaged if underwater for too long.
As far as getting the level of the lake down to 1070, the desired level for the Corps, that could take 30 days or more, according to Parker.