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Shuler Road reopens, but others still closed after heavy February rains
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A fisherman walks across the covered bridge Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at Lanier Point Park where water levels have reached the bottom of the bridge. - photo by Scott Rogers
Update, March 4: Shuler Road has reopened after being closed due to heavy rains. Several other roadways remain closed, including Claude Parks Road from Old Dahlonega Highway to Jake Kemp Road and Lawson Road.

The lake stood at 1,075.21 feet above sea level as of 8:15 a.m. March 4.  The lake hit its highest point this year between Feb. 20-21, topping 1,076.71, which is short of the record of 1,077.15, set in 1964.



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A portion of Claude Parks Road in Murrayville remains closed Wednesday, March, 4, 2020, due to heavy rains in February. Lake Lanier levels also are spilling over the banks into parking lots and wooded areas at local parks. - photo by Scott Rogers

Update, Feb. 19: Lake Lanier stood at 1,076.56 feet above sea level, as of 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The lake may top the water level record of 1,077.15 feet this week, “but everything is dependent on the amount of rain received, and when, where and how much we can generate and move downstream,” said Nick Baggett, the Army Corps of Engineers’ natural resource manager at Lanier.


Update, Feb. 17: Lake Lanier’s water level stood at 1,076 feet as of 7 a.m. Monday, Feb. 17, six feet above the winter full pool level of 1,070 feet.

Several boat ramps remain closed, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is posting updates on its Lake Lanier Facebook page.

Shuler Road in northwest Hall is closed until further notice. Claude Parks Road from Old Dahlonega Highway to Jake Kemp Road, as well as Lawson Road, remain closed.

The highest recorded level on Lanier is 1,077.15 feet, set on April 14, 1964. Heavy rains in the area have pushed the lake’s current level within a foot of that record.

Rain will likely continue this week, according to the National Weather Service’s forecast. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm are expected Tuesday, with new rainfall amounts possibly being about a quarter to half an inch. Showers are also likely on Wednesday and Thursday, although the rain is expected to clear up on Friday and Saturday.


Update, 3:30 p.m. Feb. 13:  Recent rains have caused havoc on Lake Lanier and Hall County roads, and more rain possibly starting Sunday, Feb. 16, is only stoking concerns.

Lake Lanier’s water level has been rising nearly 1 foot per day over the past few days, standing at 1,075.93 feet at 2:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, or nearly 6 feet above the winter full pool of 1,070 feet.

The high water levels are causing problems ashore, causing officials to close numerous boat ramps.

Nick Baggett, the Army Corps of Engineers’ natural resource manager at Lanier, said updates will be posted on the Corps’ Facebook page.

Officials are concerned that the lake level could top 1,077. The highest recorded level on Lanier is 1,077.15 feet, set on April 14, 1964.

The Corps has a “high water action plan” that covers responses to lake levels reaching 1,076 feet, Baggett said.

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Water creeps over the road at Sardis Creek Park Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, as Lake Lanier levels continue to rise during steady rain showers. - photo by Scott Rogers

Over that elevation, “we’re going to have to assess the impacts to our parks, campgrounds and other areas on a site-by-site basis,” he said.

Flood management also is an issue.

“As part of the bigger picture, there is high water downstream as well,” Baggett said. “What’s happening downstream will have a big impact on how much and when we can release water (from Buford Dam).”

The rain also is taking a toll on area roads.

Hall officials said Thursday Shuler Road in northwest Hall was closed until further notice due to the rains. Claude Parks Road from Old Dahlonega Highway to Jake Kemp Road, as well as Lawson Road, remain closed.

Calvary Church Road reopened Wednesday after being closed to traffic following heavy rains.

The area could get a brief reprieve from the rain, according to the National Weather Service.

Thursday’s forecast showed sunny skies Friday and Saturday, Feb.14-15. A chance of showers is back in the forecast Sunday and could linger in the area at least through Wednesday, Feb. 19.

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Lake Lanier's level is high enough Feb. 12, 2020, to cover portions of the walking trails at Longwood Park in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers



Update, 11 a.m. Feb. 13:  Shuler Road in northwest Hall is closed until further notice due to heavy rains. Claude Parks Road from Old Dahlonega Highway to Jake Kemp Road, as well as Lawson Road, remain closed.


Update, 9:30 a.m. Feb. 12: Calvary Church Road has reopened Wednesday, Feb. 12, after being closed to traffic following heavy rains.

The road closed Thursday for repairs between Poplar Springs Road and Poplar Church Road .

Roads that remain closed include Claude Parks Road from Old Dahlonega Highway to Jake Kemp Road and Lawson Road.

Several boat ramps on Lake Lanier also are closed due to high water:

  • Belton Bridge

  • Bolding Mill Day Use

  • Keiths Bridge

  • Little Hall, 1 lane closed, 2 open

  • Little Ridge

  • Little River

  • Long Hollow

  • Mountain View

  • Nix Bridge

  • Old Federal Day Use

  • Robinson

  • Sardis Creek

  • Simpson

  • Thompson Bridge

  • Thompson Creek

  • Toto Creek

  • Two Mile

  • Van Pugh North

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The Carlyle Cox Lake Walk at Longwood Park is completely under water Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, as water levels on Lake Lanier flood low-lying portions of area parks and boat ramps. - photo by Scott Rogers
Update, 4 p.m. Feb. 11: 

Rainy weather this week has the Army Corps of Engineers monitoring potential flood conditions on Lake Lanier and areas downstream.

“We will monitor the downstream conditions as a result of the rainfall … and as soon as the Norcross, Roswell and Vinings areas allow, we will begin to evacuate the water from the Buford Dam flood pool as safely as possible,” Corps spokesman Chuck Walker said in an email Monday, Feb. 10.

Walker said that because of a rainy forecast, the Corps was suspending generation at Buford Dam.

He couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Runoff from heavy rains typically takes 1-2 days to travel through creeks and tributaries before reaching the lake. Nearly 2 inches of rain fell between Monday and early Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The lake pool stood at 1,074.93 feet above sea level early Tuesday afternoon. Full pool in the winter is 1,070 feet but 1,071 feet in the summer.

Rain remains in the National Weather Service forecast for the Hall County area through Thursday, Feb. 13, then sunny skies move in — but just briefly. Rain returns to the forecast late Saturday, Feb. 15.

The area was under a hazardous weather outlook on Tuesday.

The lake has risen more than 2 feet in the past week. The current spike in water level roughly tracks with water levels from the past two years, when winter storms dumped inches of water into the region.

In 2019, the lake peaked at 1,076 feet in February. The year before, the peak didn’t hit until earlier June.

High lake levels have in the past forced the closure of parks run by the Corps, which controls operations around Lake Lanier, and the city of Gainesville.

Gainesville now runs the Lake Lanier Olympic Park and has several lakeside parks.

Heavy rain also causes debris to wash into the lake, which can be a hazard for boaters.

Nick Bowman contributed to this report.


Update, 6:30 a.m. Feb. 11:  Road conditions in Hall County are in good shape, according to a Hall County Emergency Management post on social media before 5 a.m.. No flooding has been reported.  

“The heavy bands of rain that was predicted earlier did not end up occurring, which is good news for us!” The post states. “Locally we have observed 1.5-2” of rain on average. Expect 0.5-1” additional throughout the day.”


Update, 8 p.m.: Habersham County Schools will be closed Tuesday due to anticipated flood conditions. Lumpkin County schools will delay starting for two hours.


Update, 6:45 p.m.:  Hall County Emergency Management is recommending that motorists stay off the roads overnight due to heavy rainfall and flooding threats. 

The National Weather Service is predicting an additional 2-4 inches of rain with local amounts up to 6 inches over the next 24 hours, according to Hall County Fire Services Division Chief Casey Ramsey. 

With the saturated ground, streams and rivers will continue to rise and visibility will be poor due to heavy rain, Ramsey wrote in a release.

"If Hall County sees the amount of rainfall that is predicted then it is almost a certainty that we will have wide-spread impacts throughout the county. What makes this situation even more serious and dangerous is that it will be occurring overnight. Flooded roads will not be easily seen and could result in motorists driving into flooded areas," Ramsey wrote.

Ramsey urged motorists to remember the phrase "Turn around, don't drown."


Update, 6:30 p.m.:  Claude Parks Road from Old Dahlonega Highway to Jake Kemp Road is closed until further notice following a period of heavy rain. 

Both Lawson Road and Calvary Church Road remain closed due to hazardous conditions caused by heavy rains Thursday.


Lake Lanier is almost four feet above full winter pool after the weekend snowstorm, and another several inches of rain is expected to blanket North Georgia from Monday to Wednesday.

As of 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 10, the lake pool stood at 1,073.85 feet. Full pool in the winter is 1,070 feet but 1,071 feet in the summer.

Hall County will be under a flood watch from 1 p.m. Monday through Tuesday evening.

The lake has risen more than two feet in the past week. The current spike in water level roughly tracks with water levels from the past two years, when winter storms dumped inches of water into the region.

In 2019, the lake peaked at 1,076 feet in February. The year before, the peak didn’t hit until earlier June.

High lake levels have in the past forced the closure of parks run by the Army Corps of Engineers, which controls operations around Lake Lanier, and the city of Gainesville.

Gainesville now runs the Lake Lanier Olympic Park and has several lakeside parks.

Heavy rain also causes debris to wash into the lake, which can be a hazard for boaters.

“Several waves of moderate to heavy rain are expected through Tuesday evening,” states the National Weather Service advisory. “Two to four inches of rain with locally higher amounts are possible. Flooding could also occur in low-lying and urbanized areas, rivers, creeks and streams, which could continue well after the rain ends.”

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