June 2019

Summertime, and the living is…exceptional.  At least it is in Johns Creek.

For me, summertime conjures up memories of swim teams, baseball, parades, cookouts and vacations. I trust summertime means much of the same for most Johns Creek residents today as it did when I was young. 

Just as our schools shut down for the summer, our city comes alive with sunny skies, celebrations, and activities. If you haven’t already bookmarked the summer event schedule on the city’s website, be sure to check it out. We’ve put together a spectacular array of events, concerts and celebrations, each one a standout. Please visit the City Calendar webpage for the latest information.

Summer is a time for fun but we can’t lose sight of taking time this summer to reinforce safety and preparedness. That not only includes safety in our city parks and playgrounds, always wearing protective helmets when bicycling around our city, but it also includes making appropriate plans for potential emergencies.  

Johns Creek residents have the opportunity to plan ahead and be safe by participating in the Smart911 program. Smart911 is a free service allowing residents to create a Safety Profile for their household that includes any information they want 911 to have in the event of an emergency.

For example, when a child is missing, if a photograph of that child has been included in the family's Safety Profile, it can be forwarded immediately to police officers in the field, saving critical minutes. Other examples of information you can provide are for a family’s Safety Profile include: medical conditions / physical challenges; emergency contacts; location of bedrooms and number of people in your house; and any other information which you want to share with police, fire, or EMS.

All information given to Smart911 is kept private and only shared with emergency operators and responders when you call 911. Smart 911 provides Johns Creek residents with the ability to enter important information on a 100 percent private and secure website that will help first responders address any future emergency they may have.

Johns Creek residents interested in subscribing to Smart911 can sign up for FREE at smart911.com.

Summer beckons us to the outdoors and one of the city’s greatest natural assets is the Chattahoochee River. While it is inviting to take a cool splash in the river, its appearance can be dangerously deceptive. When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases water from Lake Lanier, the resulting surge of water can cause the river to rise several feet in a short amount of time.

During the summer, the Johns Creek Fire Department Swift Water Rescue Team responds several times a month to emergency calls to rescue people from the frigid, rushing water of the river. 

Our rescue teams have seen the water level rise steadily, and if people aren’t paying attention, they can suddenly find themselves stranded on a rock that’s about to go underwater or in a boat that’s being pushed downstream by the current.

During a release, the Chattahoochee can rise as much as 11 feet in minutes. The water can be as cold as 47 degrees, enough to bring on hypothermia and hamper efforts to swim to shore. Because of this we’re asking people to please check ahead to see when releases are scheduled and always wear floatation devices and focus on safety.

The U.S. Corps releases water from Buford Dam during weekday afternoons unless there are unusual downstream water demands or especially heavy rains. In those situations, unscheduled water releases can come in the morning and on weekends.

The Corps gives notice, but the announcements vary from a few minutes to a few hours before the releases. People can call 770-945-1466, or toll free at 1-855-DAM-FLOW (1-855-326-3569). River users may also view the daily schedule for releases (select the Lake Lanier/ Buford Dam option).

I urge you to go out and have an active, joyous and safe summer. If you have summer safety stories or vacation travel adventures you’d like to share with me, drop me a line and let me know. I always welcome your thoughts, feedback and concerns so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can always reach me either by email mike.bodker@johnscreekga.gov or phone 678-451-3313.