Rainy year in Ge­or­gia cre­ates prob­lems for lake busi­nesses

Ledger-Enquirer - - Local -

One of Ge­or­gia’s wettest years on record has made for a chal­leng­ing time for mari­nas and other busi­nesses on Lake Lanier.

Gainesville, on the lake’s east side, re­ceived nearly 70 inches of rain in 2018. It was the wettest year for the city since 2013, The Times re­ported.

Brent Pear­son, who works for the com­pany that owns Port Royale Ma­rina on Lake Lanier, said flood­ing can be a ma­jor prob­lem.

“It’s eas­ier for us to deal with low lake lev­els than it is high lake lev­els,” Pear­son said. “Flood­ing is more of a chal­lenge – a foot or two doesn’t re­ally mat­ter. I’d much rather be five feet low than five feet high. Five feet high is a ma­jor prob­lem.”

The ma­rina wasn’t af­fected much by all the rain, but park­ing lots on the prop­erty were, Pear­son said.

Ris­ing wa­ter also brought trash and de­bris to Lake Lanier Olympic Park, which hosted the row­ing events dur­ing the 1996 Olympic Games.

The rains led the venue to can­cel a con­cert be­cause of flood­ing. It also had to post­pone its an­nual Po­lar Bear Plunge event.

2018 ended with Lake Lanier at 1,073.8 feet above sea level ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Army Corps of En­gi­neers. That’s al­most 4 feet above win­ter full pool of 1,070. Sum­mer full pool is 1,071 feet above sea level.

“When the lake goes above that level, it im­pacts recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties, pri­vate docks and mari­nas, as they are all de­signed for max­i­mum op­er­a­tion at the sum­mer pool level,” Army Corps spokesman E. Patrick Rob­bins told The Times in June.

The lake was at its low­est point – 1,065.91 feet above sea level – at the be­gin­ning of Jan­uary 2018.

After that, it rose rapidly with the wettest Fe­bru­ary since 1998 and reached its high­est point of the year on June 2: 1,074.69 feet above sea level.

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