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Lanier just 2 inches from record low level
Lake hasn't been this low since 1981
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The level of Lake Lanier on Sunday neared its lowest level since the lake began filling up more than 50 years ago as a record-setting drought continues to bake Northeast Georgia.

At 6 p.m., Lake Lanier's level was at 1,052.77 feet above sea level, according to the U.S. Geological Survey Web site. The lake is now about two inches above the previously recorded low of 1,052.66, recorded in December 1981.

With no drought-busting rains in the forecast, the level of Lake Lanier is expected to continue to drop. Some rain is expected Wednesday and Thursday, but not enough to end the drought.

"We were expecting (the lake) to reach its low over the weekend, but it looks like it's probably not going to happen until Monday or Tuesday," said Lisa Coghlan, a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District.

Although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers came to an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Nov. 15 to reduce the flow of water from Corps-controlled dams from Buford to Woodruff into the Appalachicola River from 5,000 cubic feet per second to 4,750 cubic feet per second, Coghlan said lake levels have not yet been affected.

She added that it will likely take months for the reduced release rate to contribute to steady or rising lake levels. If lake levels continue to drop as expected, the plan calls for water flows to be reduced to 4,500 cfs and then to 4,150 cfs, if warranted.

Despite the expectation of a new record low for Lake Lanier, Coghlan said the lake still retains about 70 percent of its water in storage.


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