Lake Chehaw is going down - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lake Chehaw is going down

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – If you've seen the Flint River lately then you know that it certainly is running high. Doug Wilson tracks the Flint from his office in Downtown Albany.  What is today's level?

 

"It's at 18500," he said.

That's in cubic feet per second. So how does that compare to it's normal level for today?

"2819 is the median flow for this date," he said.

Or about eight times its usual level. All of that water pushed the river out of it's banks and onto the river trail, caking the benches and sidewalks in mud.  What is causing all of this water in the river?

"Ida flooding," said Doug Wilson.

That's right...we're still talking about Ida. All of the rain that fell in North Georgia is here.

"It collects in the tributaries, it's moving downstream," said Wilson.

And with it coming downstream, the floodgates at the Georgia Power Dam had to be opened.

Steve Green of Georgia Power said, "the maximum gates that we opened was eight gates. We currently have four, we closed down two this morning."

But since the gates being opened occurred around the time that Georgia Power brings down the level of Lake Chehaw, many people thought that it was the reason. But this is not the actual drawdown, as it's called.

"Once this increased flow event is over, we'll draw the lake down to do maintenance on the generating unit," said Green.

But the maintenance work will have to wait until the river falls, which is happening pretty quickly. In the next few days: "it's going to continue to fall," said Green.

And he says that this was a case of the system working well.

"It was a pretty good increased flow event. We had good communication with Crisp County Power Dam, we knew what they were doing, we matched flows with them. We watched the Kinchafoonee and Muckalee Creek," he said.

 

And in the next few days the river should be back within its banks soon, even if it will be happening slowly.

The drawdown of Lake Chehaw is scheduled to begin on November 29th.

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