Bartow County Fire Chief Craig Millsap said at 6:15 p.m. that Bartow County and Cartersville fire department crews had reached the fire “two or three levels” below ground and began extinguishing the blaze.
The powerhouse had undergone rehabilitation work, including new electrical. When the building was “re-energized” before 4 p.m., Millsap said, the blaze erupted.
At this time there is no threat to the Allatoona Dam structure itself, and officials are looking to restore operations through a back-up power source.
Construction on the dam was authorized in 1944. It began full operations in January 1950, with the final cost totaling $31.5 million at that time.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received stimulus funds in April 2010 to replace and upgrade the heating ventilation and air conditioning equipment at the powerhouse, with $818,979 awarded. An additional $454,943 in stimulus funds was allocated in May 2010 for asbestos abatement and component replacement at the powerhouse, and just over $200,000 was earmarked for the removal of existing, supply and installation of the new gantry crane. In September 2012, $315,280 in stimulus funds was awarded for the installation of unitrol static excistation system at the Allatoona Dam Powerhouse.