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Friday May 24th, 2019 7:08AM
6:31PM ( 12 hours ago ) Weather Alert

Rainy year in Georgia creates problems for lake businesses

By The Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — One of Georgia's wettest years on record has made for a challenging time for marinas and other businesses on Lake Lanier.

Gainesville, on the lake's east side, received nearly 70 inches (178 centimeters) of rain in 2018. It was the wettest year for the city since 2013, The Times reported .

Brent Pearson, who works for the company that owns Port Royale Marina on Lake Lanier, said flooding can be a major problem.

"It's easier for us to deal with low lake levels than it is high lake levels," Pearson said. "Flooding is more of a challenge . a foot or two doesn't really matter. I'd much rather be five feet low than five feet high. Five feet high is a major problem."

The marina wasn't affected much by all the rain, but parking lots on the property were, Pearson said.

Rising water also brought trash and debris to Lake Lanier Olympic Park, which hosted the rowing events during the 1996 Olympic Games.

The rains led the venue to cancel a concert because of flooding. It also had to postpone its annual Polar Bear Plunge event.

2018 ended with Lake Lanier at 1,073.8 feet above sea level according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That's almost 4 feet above winter full pool of 1,070. Summer full pool is 1,071 feet above sea level.

"When the lake goes above that level, it impacts recreation facilities, private docks and marinas, as they are all designed for maximum operation at the summer pool level," Army Corps spokesman E. Patrick Robbins told The Times in June.

The lake was at its lowest point — 1,065.91 feet (325 meters) above sea level — at the beginning of January 2018.

After that, it rose rapidly with the wettest February since 1998 and reached its highest point of the year on June 2: 1,074.69 feet (328 meters) above sea level.

___

Information from: The Times, http://www.gainesvilletimes.com

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
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