Army Corps releasing water from Lake Allatoona to curtail flooding

Allatoona Lake's level has reached 851.55, which is more than its full pool of 840 feet. Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Allatoona Lake's level has reached 851.55, which is more than its full pool of 840 feet. Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Two boat ramps and one road around Lake Allatoona are closed due to unrelenting rainfall, and the Army Corps of Engineers hopes to ease flooding by releasing water from the dam.

The water level for the lake, which stretches across Bartow and Cherokee counties, is now at 851.55 feet, which is more than 20 feet above its winter full pool of about 829 feet, said Chris Purvis, lead ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Allatoona’s summer full pool is 840 feet.

For comparison’s purposes, Lake Lanier’s level was 1,076 feet as of Friday, which is about 5 feet above full pool, according to Lakes Online, a website that measures lake levels. Its historic level of 1,077 was reached in April 1964.

Purvis said Allatoona “is not even close” to its historic level of 861.19, which it also reached in April 1964.

Downstream communities began to see their water levels recede this week, Purvis said, and the Army Corps began releasing water from Allatoona Dam to lower the lake level. The spill gates at the Dam will remain open continuously through the weekend to allow Allatoona’s levels to drop.

Tanyard Creek Road in Bartow County is closed due to standing water from Lake Allatoona. Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Tanyard Creek Road in Bartow County is closed due to standing water from Lake Allatoona. Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Ideally, Purvis said the Corps would like to see the lake drop back down to around 829 feet, which would take about three to four weeks. However, that may not be the case since more rain is projected in the forecast for next week, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Coopers Branch and Victoria Day Use boat ramps are closed, but the public can still use the Blockhouse, Payne, Galt’s Ferry, Stamp Creek and Riverside ramps. Bartow County has also closed Tanyard Creek Road between Groovers Landing and Glade roads to the public due to water from the lake spilling on to the thoroughfare.

Bartow County Fire Chief Dwayne Jamison said he’s unsure how long Tanyard Creek Road will remain closed.

“Our road(s) department will need to inspect the roadway to see if there are any repairs that need to be made prior to opening the road,” he said.

With the increase in Allatoona’s level, Purvis said a lot of debris has been swept into the lake.

“Floating debris is going to be out biggest concern right now,” Purvis said.

Anyone who ventures out on the lake should wear a life jacket and watch out for debris in the water, he said.

Purvis said if the seasonal norm holds true, the lake could see its water level drop over the next three to four weeks. However, rain is expected to return next week, so that could add to the 11 inches the Corps has already recorded at Allatoona just for this month.

“And the rain we’ve been getting has been a lot heavier than usual,” he said. “We just want people to be safe out there on the water.”


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