News

During a media briefing on Aug. 27, representatives from the Forsyth County Fire Department, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the National Parks Service and the Army Corps of Engineers addressed topics surrounding river water safety ahead of the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

 

The primary focus of the briefing, which was held at Buford Dam’s Lower Pool West Park, was safety on the Chattahoochee River, particularly near the dam.

 

“The flow of the river changes rapidly during a release,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Natural Resource Manager Nicholas Baggett. “If you hear the (water release warning) horn, you need to get out of the water as soon as possible.”

 

The U.S. Corps releases water from Buford Dam during weekday afternoons unless there are unusual downstream water demands or especially heavy rains. In those situations, unscheduled water releases can come in the morning and on weekends.

 

Chattahoochee River safety tips:

-         For a Buford Dam water release schedule, call 770-945-1466 or 1-855-DAM-FLOW (1-855-326-3569).

-         Life jackets must be worn by anyone on the river between Buford Dam and the GA Hwy. 20 bridge.

-         During a release, the Chattahoochee River can rise as much as 11 feet in minutes.

-         Keep an eye on the water level. Note the water level on a solid fixture, such as a bridge support, and check it periodically. If the water level has risen, it's time to get out.

-         Always make sure someone knows where you are and if swimming in the river, use a buddy system.

-         Use the mile markers along the river so you know exactly where you are.

 

“It can be easy for even an advanced swimmer or knowledgeable angler to underestimate the intensity of the river’s current during a water release from the dam,” said Forsyth County Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers.

 

“The Forsyth County Fire Department’s Swift Water Rescue Unit responds to calls of people stranded in the river’s quickly rising waters more often than we would like. We hope that all residents planning on enjoying the river this weekend will use caution and stay safe.”

    Contact Us

     Address: 110 East Main Street
    Cumming GA 30040
     Phone: 770-781-2101
     Email: Contact Us

    Our Mission

    As trusted stewards of Forsyth County’s future, the elected officials and employees are dedicated to serving the community and to providing effective, professional public service with integrity and a commitment to excellence. 

    Our Vision

    Forsyth County is committed to providing and maintaining the most efficient, customer service-oriented county government possible. The county will be an innovative and strategic leader in providing essential and effective public services in a fiscally prudent and professional manner. By preserving and enhancing a high quality of life, Forsyth County will remain a healthy, safe and compelling place in which to live, work, recreate, visit and invest.