All that rain from Tropical Storm Alberto is still having an effect on many of the beaches and boat ramps at Lake Lanier.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has closed eight beaches as of Thursday due to the higher lake levels.
“An area could be 6 feet within a swim line area or it could be 8 feet. So, we have decided to shut those beaches down to make sure that we provide as safe a condition as possible,” says Natural Resource Manager Nick Baggett.
The Corps updates a map of the lake on its website daily with all the closings.
Tracy Turner of Cumming took advantage of her day off to bring a book and chair to sit beside the water at West Bank Park. But she had no plans of getting in the water unlike others who were ignoring the red tap meant to keep swimmers out.
“I think it’s dangerous. There are unexpected rocks and places that you may not realized the depth when you go swimming in the lake. But it’s pretty to look at though,” she tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
It’s the first time since August 2013 that lake levels have been this high during recreation season. At around 3 feet above its full pool of 1071, Baggett says even boating can be hazardous.
“There may be floating objects or even underwater hazards that may have been created by the flooding,” he says.
The higher levels have also forced the Corps to close Lower Pool West Park, a popular park for kayakers just below Buford Dam.
Due to dangerous conditions from the continuous water releases from the dam, it’s closed until further notice.
“We’re very concerned about turbulent flows. We’re concerned about people getting swept away during the times we’re releasing water,” says Baggett.
He says the releases will likely continue until the lake goes back down to full pool. The Lower Pool East Park remains open for now.
Baggett also warns those visiting parks downstream on the Chattahoochee River in Gwinnett and Fulton Counties to be mindful as well.
“You’ll still have turbulent flows there--high flows and high generation,” he says.
He says to keep an eye on when water will be released which is also updated on the Corps’ website and get out in plenty of time.