The long-awaited Savannah Harbor deepening can move forward, now that officials with the Georgia Ports Authority, state transportation department, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have signed a key agreement.
A new military leader has taken command of the agency overseeing the Savannah harbor expansion project. Col. Thomas Tickner became the new commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District.
Two days of court-ordered mediation were slated to get under way in a federal lawsuit challenging the $650 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel. Attorneys for both sides were scheduled to meet today and tomorrow in Charleston in sessions overseen by former South Carolina U.S. Rep. John Spratt.
Authorities say Lake Lanier is now at its lowest level since March 2009 after dropping two feet in two weeks. Officials say the lake is at 1,058 feet above sea level, or 13 feet below what is considered full for this time of year.
Federal officials say they're lowering Lake Lanier's water level and increasing the flow of water downstream to ease drought conditions in parts of Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Officials expect Lanier to drop six inches each week at the current release rate.
Gov. Nathan Deal says a federal official has recommended funding to dredge the Port of Savannah in the next federal budget. The Republican governor said the assistant Army secretary for civil works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, recommended the funding in a letter informing Congress of the agency's approval of the project.