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Lake Lanier hits highest level since '07, 10 feet below full pool

Only basins around Lanier, Hartwell are still considered in drought

POSTED: April 3, 2009 5:19 p.m.

Almost all of Georgia has escaped from the epic drought.

State Climatologist David Stooksbury said Friday that only the basins around Lake Lanier and Lake Hartwell are still stuck in drought after several days of heavy rain dumped inches of rain on Georgia.

Stream flows and soil moisture levels across much of Georgia are well above normal.

Almost of inch of rain has fallen at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville over the past three days, according to the National Weather Service Web site. That rainfall, coupled with more than 3 inches last week, has been beneficial for Lanier.

Friday afternoon, Lake Lanier's water level was at 1,061.09 feet above sea level, still 10 feet below full pool but also nearly 10 feet above the level posted in early December.

The current level is the highest the lake has reached since Sept. 7, 2007. Full pool is 1,071 feet.

In early December, Lanier came perilously close to breaking its all-time record low of 1,050.79 feet above sea level.

About the only sore spots remaining are the basins of the two lakes, both major water sources for North Georgia. Both basins remain mired in moderate drought conditions, a far cry from the exceptional drought conditions that gripped parts of the state in late 2007.

Those conditions forced Georgia officials to call for sweeping water restrictions, which remain in place for now.



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