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Corps reduces Lanier levels

LAKE LANIER - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began releasing water from Lake Lanier at the Buford dam Wednesday evening, according to a department spokesman.

"The lake is above where it should be right now, so this will just bring it down a bit," said Patrick Robbins with the Corps' Mobile (Ala.) District.

At 1,071.5 feet above sea level, the lake's level is about 18 inches above what is considered to be winter full pool.

During last year's drought, levels dropped to 20 feet below pool before gradually climbing back to normal, the first time the lake has been full since Sept. 6, 2005.

Recent heavy rains responsible for flooding in much of north Georgia also pushed more water into the lake, more than two feet in less than a two-week span.

Since November 2007, Robbins said, water has only been released to meet downstream flow requirements.

Releasing the water could alleviate potential problems additional rainfall might cause, Robbins said.