On this spooky Friday, the 13th, let’s travel to Northern Georgia, to the Army Corps’ manmade 38,000-acre reservoir, Lake Lanier. Designed for flood control, water supply, and to provide hydroelectric power, Lake Lanier was made by building the 1,630-foot-long Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River. Construction began in the mid-1950s and by the time it was complete, areas of farmland, residences, and entire towns were covered by the ‘flood.’ These areas were abandoned of course, but not without using eminent domain to buy the land.
The reservoir is a major water supply source (states are even fighting over it), provides a significant amount of hydroelectric power to the Atlanta region, and is used to prevent downstream flooding during heavy rain events. But it has also become a popular recreational spot for boating, fishing, swimming, camping, you name it.
This big engineering feat was done nearly 70 years ago before they could use AutoCAD to perfectly scale and dimension site features or get accurate GPS coordinates and elevations by flying a DJI Matrice 300 Drone.
Now onto the spooky stuff. I mentioned they flooded entire towns to make this lake. This included cemeteries that had some unclaimed, unmarked graves that may or may not have been left behind. Many visitors claimed to have felt arms or legs when reaching into the murky water and others have even felt something pull them down. Over 500 people have died at the lake since its inception, including the ‘Lady of the Lake’ who was driving with a friend when she lost control of her car and disappeared over a bridge. Many people have claimed to see her wandering along the bridge at night like she was lost. It took 32 years before her car was discovered with her bones inside.
Despite its haunted history, well over 10 million people visit it each year—some for its beautiful scenery, others for the ghostly sightings. Next time you’re down south enjoying fresh water from the tap and not being flooded out, thank the engineers who made it happen… and the Lady of the Lake who may be there in spirit.
4RC - “The sight distance triangle shall be shown” for a new driveway… at the end of a cul-de-sac.