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Lanier up nearly 3 feet, zeros in on full pool
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Lake Lanier has risen almost 3 feet since Sunday morning, the result of heavy rainfall across the lake’s Northeast Georgia basin.

Just two years removed from hitting its lowest level ever, Lanier is now poised to reach full pool, an elevation not reached in more than four years, since Sept. 6, 2005.

By 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, Lanier was as 1,067.50 feet, an increase of 2.85 feet since 7 a.m. Sunday. Officials say the lake will continue to rise for up to two days after the rain ends.

Full pool for Lanier is 1,071 feet.

Before the recent spate of rainy weather, drier-than-normal conditions seemed to prevail over the summer. Lake Lanier reached a peak of 1,066.71 feet above sea level on June 17, then went into a steady decline.

On Sept. 14, before rainfall began to wrench the area, the lake had dropped to 1,064.22 feet.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ four-week projection of lake levels, released weekly, last week showed Lanier steadily dropping to about 1,063 feet.

That forecast has reversed.

"It will within the next 24 hours," corps spokeswoman Lisa Coghlan said last week, as the rain began to dominate the weather last week. "Complete runoff into the lake after any rain event is usually 24 to 48 hours."

Weather officials have said that Georgia is entering an El Niño climate pattern, which means cooler-than-normal temperatures and wetter-than-normal conditions during the winter.

Notwithstanding recent rains, the weather pattern could lift Lanier back to full pool by sometime in winter, state climatologist David Stooksbury has said.