Officials: ‘Unsafe' to boat or swim in Chattahoochee River

Officials: ‘Unsafe' to boat or swim in Chattahoochee River

Heavy rains have caused Lake Lanier waters to rise over its full pool elevation, requiring water to be released into the Chattahoochee River for the next two weeks. (Photo: AJC file photo)

ATLANTA — It’s unsafe to swim or boat in the Chattahoochee River due to high water levels, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Recent heavy rains have raised Lake Lanier over its full pool elevation of 1,071 feet, and the levels are expected to rise with more forecast precipitation, according to a Corps release.

The Corps must release water out of Buford Dam 24 hours a day for the next two weeks starting Wednesday afternoon, according to a release.

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The water release will cause the Chattahoochee River to flow at speeds that would make it "impossible" for recreational swimming, according to the Corps.


“Wading and other uses of the river will be impossible at these flows. Only experienced boaters should attempt navigation during this time,” said E. Patrick Robbins, a spokesman for the Mobile District of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps says Lake Lanier is safe for swimming and boating.

The water release could also raise bacteria levels to “unsafe” amounts, according to a Facebook post from the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Lake Lanier is over the full pool elevation of 1071'. Most of the rivers in the Chattahoochee River Watershed are...

Posted by Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area on Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Boating and swimming are “not advised” for the next two weeks, the post says. The recreation area’s 84 miles of trails will remain open.

This article was written by Amanda C. Coyne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.