Lake Levels Continue to Shrink at West Point Lake-- Take our web poll - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lake Levels Continue to Shrink at West Point Lake-- Take our web poll

The water levels at West Point Lake are currently about eight feet below normal for this time of year.  Other lakes in the state are as much as 16 feet low.

As you can imagine, it affects local businesses that depend on boaters and fishermen.  Business at one particular bait shop has been slow.

"Sales as far as bait, fishing supplies have been way off, because of the drought. It affects us, really," said bait shop owner Jody Edmondson. "There's only one boat ramp open on this side of the lake."

In fact, only six of the lake's 30 boat ramps are currently accessible. And many docks, like this one at a local marina, are completely land-locked, as water levels continue to drop across the lake.

"Usually you'll see 5-8 feet of that pole, but now you'll see more like 20," Steve Logan said as he pointed out to an exposed sand bar on the lake. A white pole in the middle, standing about 20 feet tall, was also completely out of water.

Logan, West Point Lake's Operations Manager, says conditions may get worse before we start to see improvements.

"This would rank right up there with the most difficult drought I've ever seen, and the problem is, we don't see any relief in the future," Logan said.

He is encouraging citizens to conserve water, as The Army Corps of Engineers works to control the situation that is affecting the entire state of Georgia.

"Right now the Corps is just trying to manage water in such a way to minimize the impacts on the whole system and to meet the needs of the basin," Logan added.

Meanwhile, business owner Jody Edmondson is re-thinking his strategy.

"I don't know, just keep struggling, keep surviving. And pray for rain," he said.

And officials also say that the low lake levels are causing some safety problems on West Point Lake.  Boaters are becoming stranded in areas with low water, and some boats have even become damaged.  So they're encouraging people to exercise extreme caution out on the water during this time.

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