Chattahoochee River rises nearly 11 feet in short period of time

Local News

In a little over five hours Friday morning the Chattahoochee River rose nearly 11 feet in downtown Columbus. 

The rapid rise came during the storm that moved from the Columbus region in the early-morning hours. 

According to data from the United States Geological Survey, the river was at 22.33 feet at 5:15 a.m. By 10:15, it was 33.12 feet. 

The river’s flood stage is 27 feet and the Chattahoochee exceeded that at 8:45. And it just kept rising for the next hour and a half. 

While the overnight weather did not bring severe storms and damaging winds, it brought plenty of rain to the region. Columbus got more than an inch of rainfall, while parts of Harris County received up to 6 inches and up to 5 inches were recorded in Troup County. 

Georgia Power Company was forced to react. 

At one point, the power company had 10 of the 33 gates on the Oliver Dam open. That is when the most water was moving down river. 

Georgia Power Company spokesman Robert Watkins called it a significant weather event. 

“I would rank it at 70 percent of the highest flows I have ever seen,” he said. “So, it’s a pretty good event. It put the riverwalk under water. People need to stay away from the riverwalk today until we can get the water back down.” 

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