Rome and the rest of the Coosa Valley have enjoyed a couple of days with blue skies and lots of sunshine, but river levels remain high with more rain in the forecast.
Part of the reason the rivers have not receded any more than they have is that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started releasing water through the Allatoona dam spillway as of 3:00 p.m. Friday.
Additionally, officials with the Corps’ mobile office have released water from the spillway at Carters Dam, south of Chatsworth.
Saturday afternoon, Allatoona was at 851.2 feet, still 11 feet above full summer pool, while at the same time Carters Lake was at 1,082.1, which is 8.1 feet above summer pool.
Minor flood stage for the Oostanaula River, measured on the Turner McCall Boulevard bridge, is 25 feet. The river has been above the 20 foot mark continually for close to two weeks, but is expected to dip below that mark Monday afternoon.
The Etowah River gauge is located on the bypass bridge adjacent to the YMCA Grizzard Park complex. Minor flood stage there is 32 feet. The most recent crest occurred at 30.27 feet Friday morning, but in spite of the Corps flowing water from the Allatoona dam, the level has been slowly receding ever since.
The Coosa River gauge is located at Mayo’s Bar Lock and Dam, where the minor flood level is 24 feet. The most recent crest was 27.9 feet Friday afternoon.
The National Weather Service is forecasting more rain Monday and Tuesday, so if the rivers drop, they are likely to come back up later in the week.
Forecaster Brian Lynn with the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City said that he expects the heaviest rain to fall Monday afternoon and Monday night. He does not expect the total to go much more than an inch.
“We’ve been on the southern side of the jet stream most of the winter and that means it’s been warmer, which in turn results in a lot of rain,” Lynn said.
While the Corps is able to control flow from the Etowah out of Allatoona and the Coosawattee out of Carters, the wild card is the rainfall across the Cohutta Mountain range, a large portion of which drains into the Conasauga River which is not dammed before it meets the Coosawattee above Resaca to form the Oostanaula and keep the flow unregulated and closer to flood stage during the prolonged period of high water.