Lake Allatoona was authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1941 and 1946. The lake – officially known as Allatoona Lake – was created by placing a dam across the Etowah River. Sadly, the town of Allatoona was wiped out when the lake was created.
Their perseverance gave us the lake we love and enjoy so much.
Lake Allatoona serves seven authorized purposes:
- Flood Control
- Hydropower generation
- Water supply
- Fish and wildlife management
- Water quality
The dam was finished rather quickly, once work began. The lake began to fill just after Christmas in 1949. The power plant began operation on January 31, 1950. By May of 1950, the lake was full, with 12,010 acres of water and 270 miles of shoreline. The total cost of the Allatoona Dam project for construction, land and relocation was $31,500,000 in 1950. That’s roughly $300 million in today’s dollars.
Two municipalities withdraw water from the lake: the city of Cartersville and the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority.
During the 1980s there was a prolonged drought. During the peak of the drought in 1986, tree stumps, roads, and foundations of houses were clearly visible above water. In 1998, Lake Allatoona clocked more visitor hours than any of the other 450 Corps of Engineers projects in the United States.
We’re grateful that the presence of Allatoona Dam has prevented nearly $80 million in flood damages since 1950. To most of the six million annual visitors, however, we are most thankful for such a beautiful place to visit for rest, relaxation, family time and recreation.