Aerial view of Southeastern lakes highlights drought

Updated Dec 8, 2016
Lake Catoma during the ongoing drought.Lake Catoma during the ongoing drought.

Sometimes you have to take a bird’s-eye view to really understand just how serious a drought is.

The Sierra Nevada snowpack has often been shown to illustrate the severity of the California drought, but the Southeast is also currently struggling with an acute shortage of rain.

Lakepedia, the online encyclopedia of lakes, has compiled a list of 12 reservoirs in the Southeast that have been affected by the drought.

Below you can slide between the “before” picture that was taken in either October or November of last year and the “after” picture that was taken in November 2016.

  1. Weiss Lake, Alabama

Weiss Lake is in northeastern Alabama and is owned and operated by Alabama Power Co. At full pool, Weiss Lake sits 564 feet above sea level. Currently, it sits at 557 feet – 7 feet below full pool.

  1. Lake Purdy, Alabama

Lake Purdy is an important source of drinking water for the Birmingham area, but is now only 25 percent full.

  1. Lake Juliette, Georgia

Located 15 miles north of Macon and 75 miles south of Atlanta, Lake Juliette is also known as Rum Creek. It is a 3,600-acre reservoir co-managed by Georgia Power and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

  1. Cedar Creek Reservoir, Alabama

The large Cedar Creek Reservoir is in Franklin County, Alabama, along Cedar Creek. The 96-foot high dam was completed in 1979 and is used for flood control and irrigation.

  1. Lake James, North Carolina

Lake James is a large reservoir with a surface area of 10.2 square miles, located in the mountains of western North Carolina. The lake served as a filming location in “The Hunt for Red October” and “The Last of the Mohicans.”

  1. Lake Catoma, Alabama

Lake Catoma in northern Alabama is a 536-acre reservoir that supplies water to the city of Cullman. The severe drought has prompted the Cullman Utilities Board to move into phase two of their drought management plan, which calls for mandatory water conservation.

  1. Lake Jackson, Georgia

Lake Jackson is one of the oldest reservoirs in Georgia, and is located 44 miles southeast of Atlanta. It has a surface area of 4,750 acres.

  1. Cole Reservoir, Georgia

Cole Reservoir (also called Upper Towaliga) is a 1,100-acre reservoir that started operation in 2000. To the west, Club Lake can also be seen dwindling.

  1. Lake Lanier, Georgia

Located in northern Georgia, Lake Lanier is a major source of water in the area. Besides Georgia, Alabama and Florida both have rights to the reservoir’s water. Covering an area of 59 square miles, Lake Lanier sits at 1,071 feet at full pool. Currently, it is 10 feet below normal.

  1. West Point Lake, Georgia/Alabama

Straddling the border between Georgia and Alabama, West Point Lake covers an area of 25,900 acres. At 627 feet above sea level, the lake is currently 8 feet below full pool.

  1. Smith Lake, Alabama

Smith Lake, created by the construction of the Lewis Smith Dam by Alabama Power, covers an area of 21,000 acres. Currently at 496 feet, the lake is 14 feet below full pool.

  1. Lake Wylie, North Carolina/South Carolina

Lake Wylie straddles the border between North Carolina and South Carolina, and has a surface area of 13,400 acres. The current drought conditions have led to boat ramp closings on the lake.

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