Rains Help, But Thirsty Lake Still Needs More

2 09 2008

By Debbie Gilbert (Gainsville Times)

Rain from Tropical Storm Fay earlier this week pushed up the level of Lake Lanier by more than 2 feet, but the lake is still lower than it has ever been at this time of year.

“We’re still in a drought,” said Lisa Coghlan, spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates Lanier. “One tropical (storm) is not enough to bring the lake back to normal.”

When the storm began last Sunday, the lake stood at 1,053.31 feet above sea level. By Saturday, it had risen to 1,055.75. But that was still more than 15 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071.

What would it take to get the lake back to that level? Only the passage of time.

“We’re going into September and October, historically a very dry period,” said David Stooksbury, Georgia’s state climatologist. “I don’t think we can pull out (of the drought) until wintertime.”

Stooksbury said even if we get multiple tropical storms, the effect is fleeting. “We just lose too much water to evaporation and plant use,” he said.

Read on here.

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