Q: Why does the Army Corps of Engineers drop Allatoona Lake’s level some 17 feet and other lakes 1 to 10 feet?
—Don Techentien, Canton
A: “The 17-foot drawdown prior to the wet season increases our flood-storage capacity and improves our ability to reduce flood damages downstream. Allatoona’s 17-foot drawdown provides significant benefits for major flood events,” Lisa Hunter, chief of public affairs for the Army Corps of Engineers’ Mobile District, wrote in an email to Q&A on the News.
The Corps’ Mobile District manages Allatoona, as well as several other Georgia lakes including Carters Lake, Lake Sidney Lanier, West Point, Walter F. George and George W. Andrews lakes.
Authorized in the early 1940s and created for the purposes of flood control and hydroelectric generation, Allatoona Lake has been in operation since 1950 and is the first reservoir as water flows from the Blue Ridge Mountains, according to the Corps.
“The level of storage space allocated for flood-control storage varies with each project and is usually defined in the project’s original authorization,” Hunter wrote. “One of Allatoona’s major authorized purposes was flood control for downstream communities including Rome, Georgia.
“Other projects, like West Point, have smaller drawdowns, which provide moderate flood risk management benefits,” Hunter continued.
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