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Lake Lanier gets boost from rain, DNR

This aerial file photo shows Lake Lanier at Buford Dam. The Army Corps of Engineers has decided to reduce water releases, through at least April 30, from the dam, to allow increased water storage amid continuing drought conditions.

This aerial file photo shows Lake Lanier at Buford Dam. The Army Corps of Engineers has decided to reduce water releases, through at least April 30, from the dam, to allow increased water storage amid continuing drought conditions.

BUFORD -- Lake Lanier got a much needed Christmas gift from mother nature -- rain.

According to Vaughn Smith, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Gwinnett County saw anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 inches of rain, bringing the water levels at Lake Lanier to increase for the first time since October.

As of Wednesday, the water level was 1,057.20 feet, still 13.80 feet below full pool.

And the rain isn't through just yet.

"On Saturday, another system is coming through," Vaughn said. "We're looking at about another 3/4 of an inch to an inch as it moves through the area."

Meanwhile, The Army Corps of Engineers has decided to reduce water releases, through at least April 30, from Lake Lanier at Buford Dam, a move that allows increased water storage amid continuing drought conditions.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources requested that the Corps dial back the water release from 750 cubic feet per second to 650 cubic feet per second.

Corps officials said they did not act sooner because of concerns about water quality and environmental conditions downstream. The corps said the latest observations and measurement put those concerns to rest.

A corps spokesman said the lower pressure won't be noticeable to onlookers at the dam.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.