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Rain keeps lake level rising
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The rain keeps falling, and Lake Lanier keeps rising.

The lake was at 1,066.54 feet above sea level at 11:15 Tuesday night, up more than a foot in a week’s time.

That’s already above the Army Corps of Engineers’ forecast of 1,066.3 feet by the end of the week.

Almost an inch and a quarter of rain was recorded Tuesday at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville, raising the prospect of the lake getting an additional boost from runoff in the coming days. There are no more chances of rain in the forecast until the weekend.

“Releases from Lake Lanier are only to support the current 650 (cubic feet per second) flow requirement on the Chattahoochee River near Peachtree Creek,” the corps said in its weekly drought update on its website.

“Daily average releases from Lake Lanier are forecast to average 580 cfs over the next week. Local inflows into Lake Lanier averaged 2411 cfs or 85 (percent) of normal in the month of February.

“Lake Lanier continues to see rapid improvement and the possibility of a full refill is becoming more and more possible,” the corps said. “Since mid-December Lake Lanier has risen almost 9 feet, which continues to far exceed what was expected. The lake also continues to see near normal inflows for this time of year and continues to recover from the ongoing drought in the basin.”

The corps said it is not considering increasing releases from Buford Dam because it remains in system drought operations, but it re-evaluates at the first of each month.