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Most Lake Lanier parks reopened after flooding
The water level in Lake Lanier has dropped just enough for boaters to begin using the ramp at Bolding Mill Campground, which is in northwestern Hall County near where it meets Forsyth and Dawson counties. Several other parks have reopened as the water recedes. - photo by Scott Rogers

GAINESVILLE — All but three Forsyth County area parks have reopened following recent heavy rainfall that caused high water levels on Lake Lanier.

According to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chief Ranger Chris Arthur, parks and boat ramps remaining closed include Little River, Lula and Thompson Creek.

In addition, all beaches at area parks on Lake Lanier are closed. This, Arthur said, is because “there’s not any beach left. It’s under water.”

Having worked with the corps for more than 16 years, Arthur said it’s the first time he’s ever seen lake levels this high.

He said the level reached 1,075.48 feet above sea level on Dec. 31. The level Wednesday afternoon was 1,074.84.

Normal winter full pool for Lanier is 1,070 feet. Lanier’s record high water level is 1,077.15, recorded on April 14, 1964.

As the dam continues generating power, he added, “it’s going to get closer and closer to full pool.”

Last week, the corps closed a number of Lanier parks, boat ramps and day-use beaches as the water levels continued to rise following historic rainfall.

Ryan Willis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, said December was the wettest on record for the Forsyth County area since 1998. He also said it was the warmest December on record — ever.