Warnings of Lake Chehaw water drawdown dangers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Warnings of Lake Chehaw water drawdown dangers

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The level of Lake Chehaw is going down right now as Georgia Power draws down the lake for it's every other year maintenance on the nearby dam. 

Georgia Power has a warning for people who will be going out on the Lake.

Monday Georgia Power started dropping the water level, to do maintenance work on their 87-year-old dam that makes that lake.

Georgia Power's Michael Barnett and Steve Green check Lake Chehaw as the water draw down is underway. Since Monday officials have let about one foot a day more spill through the Flint River Hydro dam so it's already nearly two feet under its usual water level. 

Georgia Power lowers the lake so they can do bi-annual inspection of the dam and generating station, built in 1925.

"To have inspection and maintenance on the main dam structure. And also we have inspections and maintenance to perform on the plant gates. At the same time we have work to do inside the power station that can only be performed when the lake level is down," said Georgia Power Operations and Maintenance Manager Steve Green.

The water will be lowered at least 8 feet, until they reach the water level needed. That will uncover lots of stumps and obstacles usually not seen by boaters.  Georgia Power officials urge boaters to use caution, since the lake will be much different without as much water.

"They want to make sure their lights are working properly.  After they get out here, and 8 o-clock , 8:30 catch them in the process of leaving.  In the dark, they want to make sure that everyone can identify them while they are out here," said Georgia Power Senior Land Management Specialist, Michael Barnett.

While Georgia Power works on their dam, the drawdown is also time for people who live on the lake to do their maintenance.

"We notify all the lake shore residents. They perform boat ramp maintenance, and dock maintenance, and that type stuff," said Green.

By Monday the draw down will be complete. Georgia Power says the water will be recovered to its usual level by the end of October saying it will only take 3 or 4 days to recover it.

Green says with the maintenance work, Georgia Power plans on using it to provide power well past its 100th birthday.

When it was built in 1925, the dam provided power to most of the Albany area.

It still generates electricity today.   

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