West Point Lake remains above capacity, which means more Chattahoochee River water from the deadly Atlanta floods will continue to move through Columbus for the next few days.
West Point Lake is about 4 feet higher than the normal summer full pool. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stepped up releases out of West Point late Thursday afternoon. That is forcing Georgia Power Co., to release more water out of Lake Harding and Lake Oliver.
“I would like to think we would be able to sit back and watch it, but we are probably going to have to do something,” said Georgia Power Middle Chattahoochee hydro manager Arnold Lindsay.
That something is open more flood gates on Oliver Dam, which is just above the J.R. Allen Parkway and Bartletts Ferry Dam, which backs up Lake Harding. Late Thursday, four flood gates at Bartletts Ferry Dam were open and six were on full release at Oliver Dam.
Thursday evening, the river was still within its banks in Columbus.
"I haven't gotten any reports it's out anywhere," said Riley Land, deputy director of the Columbus Emergency Management Division.
As West Point takes on more of the Atlanta water, officials are starting to see some signs of hope.
“The lake is still rising, but at least the gauges up north are starting to decline,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ranger David Barr. There is impact in Columbus, though no serious flooding.
The city of Columbus will keep the Dillingham Street Bridge closed for at least another day, City Manager Isaiah Hugley said Thursday. City officials will meet again this morning — after rush hour — to determine when to reopen the bridge, Hugley said. It remains open to foot traffic.
The bridge that connects downtown Columbus with Phenix City was closed Wednesday afternoon as the Chattahoochee River continued to rise in Columbus because of Atlanta flood waters moving downstream.
There were no structural issues with the bridge, but it was closed because gawkers were stopping on the bridge to look at the unusually high waters. The more traveled 13th Street bridge, about four blocks north of Dillingham, remains open.
The Chattahoochee Riverwalk, a 15-mile path that runs from Lake Oliver to Fort Benning, and the city’s inert landfill at Oxbow Meadows are also closed.