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Rain causes few problems
Greenway likely to reopen today
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Forsyth County News

October is typically one of the driest months of the year, but it certainly didn’t start that way.

Some 6.7 inches of rain fell Monday and Tuesday, bringing the total since Sunday to 7.39 inches for the Forsyth County area, according to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

Despite the soggy conditions, public safety officials reported minimal issues.

“There were a few reports of power outages throughout the county,” said Forsyth County Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers. “It didn’t require any significant response from emergency services.”

The Big Creek Greenway wasn’t so fortunate. Jodi Gardner, spokeswoman for the county government, said the popular trail has been closed due to flooding.

“Parks and recreation staff is evaluating it and … they’re hoping to have it reopened perhaps by mid-day [today],” she said.

Skies were expected to clear Tuesday afternoon, followed by several days of partly cloudy or mostly sunny conditions and temperatures in the upper 70s to lower 80s.

Sunday could be a bit cooler, with a high near 73.

Tuesday, Lake Lanier stood at 1,062.48 feet above sea level, or nearly 1.5 feet above Sunday afternoon's elevation of 1,060.92 feet.

The full impact, however, won’t be known for another day or so, as it takes that long for all the runoff from creeks and streams to reach Lanier.

Lanier’s full pool is 1,071 feet.

The lake had dropped to 1,060.89 feet on Saturday, the lowest it had been since Jan. 19, when it was at 1,060.77 feet. At this time last year, Lanier stood at 1,062.15 feet.

The last time Lanier was at full pool was May 1, 2011, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Because the lake is below 1,063 feet above sea level, Lanier is operating under the corps’ Low Water Action Plan.

Dock permits, for example, won’t be considered until the water level shows it can stay consistently above 1,064 feet.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the area is experiencing moderate to severe drought.

That’s based on data collected through 7 a.m. Sept. 25. A drought update will be released Thursday based on data collected through 7 a.m. today.

A study of the U.S. Drought Monitor’s archives shows that the area has been at least “abnormally dry,” the lowest level of drought severity, since May 17, 2011.

The last time the area showed no signs of drought was March 15 to May 10, 2011.

This week’s rain may not be the drought buster that often comes in the form of a tropical storm swooping in from the Gulf Coast.

However, “It will help some, especially as [the system] travels north, because the basin drains from the mountains back into Lake Lanier,” said Nate Mayes, meteorologist with the weather service. “So, all of it is going to be beneficial.”

Staff writer Jennifer Sami contributed to this report