Published on 04/03/09

Georgia drought free except Lanier, Hartwell basins

By David Emory Stooksbury
University of Georgia

All of Georgia except the Lanier and Hartwell basins are now out of drought. Several days of heavy rain across the southern two-thirds of the state have alleviated the remaining drought conditions in south Georgia.

The Lake Lanier and Lake Hartwell basins remain in moderate drought. Lake Lanier is a major source of water for much of metropolitan Atlanta. On the Savannah River, Lakes Russell and Clarks Hill remain abnormally low for early April.

Soil moisture statewide is near normal for early April. In scattered areas across south Georgia, soil moisture is currently above normal.

Stream flows across the southern two-thirds of Georgia are well above normal. Daily record-high flows are being set on many rivers and creeks in southwest and south central Georgia. The National Weather Service is issuing flood warnings for many rivers in the state. Updated river stage information from the NWS is available at

Drowning is a major cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Most of drowning deaths result from people driving vehicles into flooded roadways.

When a roadway is covered with water, it is virtually impossible to know the true depth of the water. It only takes a few inches of water to float a car and lead to disaster.

Additionally, when a road is covered with water it is very difficult to tell if the road has been washed away or the bridge has been undermined. The safest rule is if the road is covered with water, all drivers should “turn around, don’t drown,” as directed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's safety campaign.

Additional weather and climate information can be found at and

Agricultural climatology information can be found at

Coastal climate information can be found at

Daily rainfall data is at

U.S. Geological Survey data is at

Water conservation information is available at

(David Emory Stooksbury is the state climatologist and a professor in engineering and atmospheric sciences with The University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

David Emory Stooksbury is associate professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.