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Posted 5/14/2018

Release no. 18-032

Chuck Walker, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
(251 690-3241

Fires can often times be devastating events, which was definitely true for the crew who worked at the Lake Allatoona Dam and Powerhouse in Cartersville, Georgia.

Devastated by a fire on May 19, 2014 that destroyed the powerhouse and power generating capabilities of the dam; the two units were officially brought back online and were producing power on May 4, 2018. Gerald Fulton, Operations Project Manager for Lake Allatoona for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said it was a tremendous accomplishment for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the crew at Lake Allatoona.

“It is really a significant accomplishment,” Fulton said. “The crew has really been though a lot, through two summers without air conditioning and one winter without heat. It’s been a long road, but it is very rewarding to have both units restored and back on the power grid producing power. Everyone is glad that we are back up and fully running, producing power for the public.”

The fire totally destroyed everything in the powerhouse, which first came online in May 1950. Everything had to be replaced and all the smoke damage had to be cleaned out. All of the equipment inside was modernized when the powerhouse was rehabbed and brought back online. Almost four years to the day a fire severely damaged it, the Lake Allatoona Dam and Powerhouse is now a fully modern and fully operational power-generating facility.

Ricky Wilson, Carters Lake Pump Storage power plant manager who served as Lake Allatoona’s on-site representative since 2015, said it is great having the powerhouse up and running again. 

“It has been a long process just getting things back to normal,” Wilson said. “When I first got here when you would come in a look at the walls, it was kind of depressing. You can tell the morale around here is a lot higher now that we can see the finished product. It’s great to see it finally come together.”

Wayne Vandenburg, who is the Lake Allatoona Power Plant manager, said it feels good to have everything up and running again.

“Obviously it is our job to have this facility producing power and when it was not up and running that was semi-depressing,” Vandenburg said. “It’s really a good feeling to have it up and running again. It really uplifted our spirits. “

Wilson said seeing the finished product from when he first got to the site and the devastation he saw, is gratifying. 

“Everyone did a really good job,” Wilson said. “A lot of the people who do the day to day work at the site, did a lot of the work themselves. It was great seeing things gradually get back to normal. You could tell everyone’s spirits picked up with each day. It is great to have everything back in service.”