By Nicole Burns

 Buford Dam.  Special Photo
Buford Dam.  Special Photo

Recent heavy rainfalls have caused Lake Lanier to rise well above it’s full pool of 1071’ forcing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take measures to lower lake levels and close certain areas of the lake.  The Corps have began to release water from Buford Dam 24 hours a day making the Chattahoochee River unsafe.

“Wading and other uses of the river will be impossible at these flows. Only experienced boaters should attempt navigation during this time,” said Robbins. “We advise everyone to be aware of these additional flows and take all necessary safety precautions.”

On Wednesday, the water began to be released at a rate of 9,000 cubic feet per second on weekdays and reduced to 7,000 cfs on weekends.  This will take place for the next two weeks. Corps estimate at that time the lake should be back to it’s normal full pool.

With the lake levels so high, it’s advised not to swim in the lake and take extreme caution when boating.  The water being so high can be deceptive, hiding any number of potentially dangerous things. Boats are in danger of hitting tree branches and other items that were once visible.  Swimming is strongly advised against. It’s hard to judge the depth of the water and one could find themselves literally in over their head before they know it. High lake levels also causes debris to be washed into the lake and can cause one to become tangled in it and potentially drown.

As of Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made the decision to close the following areas of the lake due to high lake levels.  

  • The walking path at West Bank (pictured) will be flagged off and closed.

  • Nix Bridge boat ramp closed

  • Thompson Creek boat ramp closed

For further closures and water release information, please check out the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Lake Lanier Facebook page at

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