West Point, Georgia

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West Point is a town in Troup County, Georgia, with a small tail of the south end of town in Harris County, Georgia, in the State of Georgia. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, this town had a total population of just 3,382 people. The very small portion of this town in Harris County is part of the Columbus, Georgia Metropolitan Area, whereas the portion of the town in Troup County is part of the LaGrange, Georgia area.

This town's present name comes from its being near the western-most point of the Chattahoochee River, where the river turns from its southwesterly flow from the Appalachian Mountain's towards the due south - for all practical purposes - and forms the boundary with Alabama. The large nearby reservoir, Lake West Point, was created by the Army Corps of Engineers by the building of the West Point Dam for water storage and hydroelectric power generation. Lake West Point stores water to be released during dry seasons to help maintain the water level of the navigable inland waterway from Columbus, Ga. south to the Gulf of Mexico.

During the late spring of 2003, there was a flood caused by extremely-heavy rainfall and thunderstorms upstream of the West Point Dam which caused the water level in the reservoir to come close to overflowing the top of the dam. There were allegations of poor forecasting of the water levels in the reservoir by the Corps of Engineers. The flood water would have overflowed the dam had not emergency measures been taken: the release of a large amount of water though the spillway of the dam. Whereas this release avoided the catastrophic failure of the dam, the town of West Point endured a flood much more severe than any other in the time since the West Point Dam had been built. However, West Point was spared from a catastrophe.

The Atlanta & LaGrange Railroad was renamed the Atlanta & West Point Railroad, using the name of West Point, and the town of East Point, Fulton County, Ga., received its name so for being at the northeastern end of this railroad line. This railroad linked Metropolitan Atlanta with the lower reaches of the Chattanooga River, with Columbus, and thence with Montgomery, Alabama.


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