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Drought, low water levels to linger at Lake Lanier
Summer full pool begins on Tuesday with lake 6 feet low
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For the past two years, Lake Lanier was just above the summer full pool of 1,071 feet above sea level at this time of year.The North Georgia reservoir now stands at just above 1,065 feet, or 6 feet shy of the elevation mark, which takes effect on Tuesday, adjusting from the winter full pool of 1,070 feet.And the elevation forecast from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, shows a gradual downward trend. By May 25, the lake could sit slightly below 1,065 feet.If such a pattern continues, “we may be in dire straits,” said Kit Dunlap, president and CEO of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “In 2009, it was pretty bad, but that was the year it rained and (the lake) went back up.”For the past year, most of Georgia has had some form of drought, with the worst conditions in South and Middle Georgia.The Hall County area has slipped in and out of drought for the past 12 months, and, as of last week, ranged from abnormally dry to moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.Instead of a typically rainy spring, recent weather has consisted mainly of low humidity and high winds, triggering fire danger alerts.And looking ahead, summer months in North Georgia typically are hot and humid.