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Carters Dam spill gate issue leads to local flooding

Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023–8:00 a.m.

-Blake Silvers, Calhoun Times-

If residents in eastern Gordon and southern Murray counties noticed any additional high water earlier this week, it wasn’t just because of the rain. 

U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers photo

An issue with a spill gate at Carters Dam released additional water from the facility for a period of time Tuesday, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

“We are currently operating in emergency mode as a dam spill gate is stuck in the open position at the re-regulation dam,” the Corps said in a release Tuesday morning. “We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

The issue was a cause of concern about additional water in areas around Gordon and Murray counties already prone to flooding, on top of the heavy rains in the area over the past several weeks. 

River forecast models predicted waterways around the Red Bud community would go into minor flood stage Tuesday with the unexpected release, according to the Corps. 

Just before 1 p.m., engineers were able to get the spill gate down. They reported water is receding from the re-regulation lake area below the dam, near the Gordon-Murray county line east of the U.S. 411 and Ga. 136 intersection. 

Local officials had been monitoring the issue from the onset, and were in communications with both the Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service.  

“Due to the flow of water that has already been released continuing downstream, we could possibly still see some flooding issues. But any of those should be minor in nature,” said Gordon County Emergency Management Director Courtney Taylor Tuesday afternoon. 

During the gate’s malfunction, approximately 15,000 to 18,000 cubic feet per second of water was being released from Carters Lake, according to Taylor. 

With the gate now repaired, local crews will continue to monitor the situation and any additional water that does flow into Gordon County. 

“Gordon County public safety and public works are monitoring flood prone areas and public works will begin placing signage on flooded roads if and as they begin to occur,” Taylor said.