Allatoona Lake more than 18 feet higher than normal, causing flooding

Crews in Acworth added some extra barriers to keep people away.

Allatoona Lake is more than 18 feet higher than it should be, and it's only getting higher, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Chris Jose was in Acworth, where a major route to I-75 is underwater. Crews have added barriers to keep drivers from trying to drive across the flooded Tanyard Creek Road.

All day Wednesday, Jose watched drivers hit the roadblock and turn right back around.

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Jose talked to drivers who said the flooding is a major inconvenience and adds about 20 minutes to their drive time.

Street crews the road could stay flooded for days.

“This is the first road I’ve seen flooded out in a long time,” said Matt Steele said, a student at Chattahoochee Tech. He and his friends had lunch plans near the lake, until he hit the roadblock.

“I don’t know any other way to get around this, so it’s a big inconvenience, really,” Steele said.

A spokesman with the Army Corps said the lake is expected to peak at 853 feet above sea level by March 1. Inspectors have measured 14 inches of rain at the dam in the past two weeks.

The spokesman said the biggest concern right now is safety for passing cars coming by.

The Corps confirmed it is releasing water at the dam. Local emergency management agency officials said they are watching weather conditions closely and monitoring creeks connected to the lake.

Neighbor Kenneth Bohanon told Jose he had errands to run, so he simply rolled up his pants and walked across the flooded road. He said it was a risk, but it’s better than walking 10 miles around it.

"It ain't nothing," Bohanon said. "I've swam across this lake many times."

The Army Corps said depending on weather conditions, the process of releasing water at the dam could take three weeks. Road crews said drivers coming from Bartow County will have to find a different route to I-75 until the water recedes.

“It probably takes them four to five miles out of the way,” a spokesman said. “Probably 10-15 minutes to go around.”

Officials in Bartow and Cobb counties said they are watching water levels closely. Road crews said they will have to inspect Tanyard Creek Road as soon as floodwaters recede to make sure the road wasn’t damaged.