September 18, 2002
Albany--The recent rain didn't do much to ease the drought. Now, Georgia Power is canceling the Fall 2002 draw down of Lake Chehaw. For homeowners, that means they will not get a chance to do repairs on their docks. But, for all of Southwest Georgia, its just another indication of the seriousness of the drought.
Homeowners on Lake Chehaw are receiving letters like this one from Georgia Power, notifying them that another draw down has been canceled. Every two years, Georgia Power schedules a draw down of Lake Chehaw, that brings the water level down about four feet, allowing for repairs and other maintenance. But water levels are low in the bodies of water that feed the Lake, which are of course the Flint River, Kinchafoonee Creek and Muckalee Creek. And,if Georgia Power does draw down Lake Chehaw, they fear they will not be able to fill the lake back up.
One hydrologist we spoke too, who has been in talks with Georgia Power over drawing down the lake says the decision was held off until the last minute. Hydrologist Woody Hicks says, "Georgia Power holding out hope until the last storm, hoping to get more rain in the upper part of the basin and bring flow back up. It didn't materialize, we go a little back in Albany from the rain, but it's pretty much gone by now."
The rain Southwest Georgia has been getting has been spread out across the region, it's been beneficial but of course not enough to put much of a dent in the drought conditions. This is the second time that Georgia Power has been forced to cancel the draw down, and no doubt its a pattern that will have to be continued as long as the drought persists.
Georgia Power Plant Mitchell requires a certain amount of water flow in order to operate, and if the draw down was to go on as planned, hydrologist Woody Hicks says that could put the plant in jeopardy. Georgia Power did conduct a draw down last fall that was not part of the two year rotation. In October, the lake was brought down for repairs to the dam.
Posted at 3:43 p.m. by firstname.lastname@example.org
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