CNN and the Associated Press have consistently published the drama unfolding in Georgia through several articles and news casts, however, the impact of the photos that could have accompanied their article(s) would have allowed the reader/viewer to truly appreciate the extent and actual impact of the drought, not necessarily on power plants downriver, nor muscles that could be endangered in Florida, or even old foundations and debris that are popping-up - but how this event is impacting the residents that actually live close to Lake Lanier. The CNN article is informative and also has an interactive page attached, so I’m choosing their most recent publication to demonstrate that indeed, a picture is worth a thousands words - and the drought in Georgia is actually worse than CNN’s photos indicate:
History comes to light as lake falls
* Roads, buildings, raceway among things revealed as lake recedes
* Georgia’s Lake Lanier 19 feet below normal
* Lakeside residents cleaning cars, trash from lake floor
GAINESVILLE, Georgia (AP) — The acres of drying mud that span much of what once was Lake Lanier jolt to a stop at a bend, where a concrete foundation appears as a sudden reminder of life before the lake.- Advertisement -
As a record drought continues to take its toll on the lake that supplies more than 3 million residents with water in metro Atlanta, the receding shore line is revealing more than antique beer cans and other assorted garbage.
An abandoned stretch of Georgia Highway 53 sits along one edge of the lake, consigned to the deep by state planners when Lanier was built. Foundations of long-forgotten buildings dot shorelines. Elsewhere in the vast expanse of exposed lake bed, a still intact one-lane road with faded yellow lines peeks out from the mud. MORE- Advertisement -
Stating the lake is ninety feet below average levels and showing a couple of photos of recently exposed trees and foundation does not realistically show the impact to the residents of the lake, nor take into account the huge financial losses this drought will impose on the local areas is likely to represent millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars. When you look at the lake from the perspective of the homeowners who heavily dot the shoreline, what would it feel like to look out your back door and witness the result of global warming’s direct impact - and these people don’t have to wait 10 to 20 years to understand that this drought, if it doesn’t end soon, will equate to countless millions of dollars in property depreciation, and the satellite businesses that depend on tourism, fishing, marinas, and boat sales that are now an inherent part of the local economy.
When I attempted to change the size of these pictures, too much was lost in the transition; I apologize for the inconvenience, but to appreciate these photos, you will have to click on each individual link.
Yes, as the above photo indicates, some areas of the lake are completely dry now; to grasp how far the lake has actually receded, please note the previous shoreline that is marked on the middle-left by the Georgia red clay. When you take into consideration that Lake Lanier used to have 692 miles of shoreline, even my few photos do not reveal the broader picture until you understand that I only ventured a few miles from home to take these pictures… and what lies in other areas I can only speculate upon, however, this effect is generally considered to be lake-wide.
Lake Sidney Lanier
Lake Sidney Lanier, one of the most-visited US Army Corps of Engineers lakes in the country, is nestled in the foothills of northeast Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Just 30 minutes northeast of Atlanta, Lake Lanier offers the adventure of fishing, boating, sailing, water sports, golf, resort vacations, horseback riding, hiking, camping, lakeside dining and wildlife.