Warning for Lake Lanier dock owners: Cut the power!

The near-record high water on Lake Lanier has triggered a new danger.

Most of the 10,000 docks have electric power running to them and many of those power poles and outlets are now submerged.

[READ: Rising water levels cause concerns at Lake Lanier]

There have been recent tragedies nationwide about swimmers who were shocked and drowned after jumping in the water near a boat dock that had electric running to it.

"Oh, it can be fatal, absolutely. Alabama has had three fatalities with electric shock," Joanna Cloud of the Lake Lanier Association told Channel 2's Berndt Petersen.

The accidents are caused by electric power that's running out to boat docks. Most of the docks are wired to run boat lifts or to charge batteries.


"A lot of times, we're seeing the power is still on. The power pole is under water and the lights are on, on the dock," said Scott Kanady of Lanier Dock Watch.

Kanady is a contractor who repairs and does maintenance on docks along Lake Lanier. He told Petersen that it's extremely dangerous for anybody who is swimming near a dock, as well as anybody working on one.

"When the water floods up to the power poles, it's putting a good bit of current in the water," Kanady said.

[READ: Rains raise Lake Lanier, flooding yards and overtaking docks]

Cloud told Petersen that a person can be shocked and possibly drown because of a current in the water that's coming from a dock even hundreds of feet away.

She said dock owners need to cut the power.

"Well, it's kind of hard to shut it off down there because you have to wade out in the water. Hopefully, people know to turn it off at the house. But there's 10,000 docks out here.  I don't know that all of them know to do that,” Cloud said.

Kanady's wife works with him the docks. He told Petersen that she was shocked and badly burned her hand when she grabbed a handrail leading to a dock where the gangway was under water.

Comments on this article