The ex-wife of famed R&B artist Usher recently came out and said that she wants to drain one of the largest lakes in Georgia, as her son was killed and lost there more than a decade ago.
His ex-wife, fashion designer Tameka Foster, has already amassed more than 2,500 signatures from her digital petition for park officials to completely drain and restore Lake Sidney Lanier. Her hope is that this lake restoration will help remove potentially hazardous debris and obstacles while improving the safety of recreational users.
Back in July of 2012, her son, who was 11 years old at the time, was with Bounce TV founder Ryan Glover when he got into a fatal accident on the lake. According to reports, her son was floating on an inner tube in the water when he was struck by another personal watercraft.
Foster recently promoted the petition, which she drafted up with change.org, on her Instagram account. In the post, she noted the importance of draining, clearing, and restoring Lake Sidney Lanier to prevent tragedies like the one her son went through, as well as honor the memories of him and the many others who have lost their lives there.
Lake Sidney Lanier is a 60-square-mile lake about an hour northeast of Atlanta proper. The waters here are cold and deep, getting up to 160 feet at its deepest. For the millions of fishermen and boaters in the state and beyond, however, it is more than just a simple weekend getaway.
In fact, beyond its recreational use, the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper conservationists say that more than 5 million people count on the lake for drinking water. At the southern end of the lake lies the Buford Dam, which, equipped with its hydroelectric power generators, creates power for the greater metro Atlanta region.
What many people are unaware of is that the lake is completely man-made, and its origins date back to the 1950s when it was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Dam construction began in the early 1950s, and by 1956, it was completed. The result was an impounding of the Chattahoochee River and a large Reservoir named after Sidney Lanier, a 19th-century musician and poet from Georgia.
The Corps operates the 38,000-acre lake from a district office in Mobile, Alabama, though they have yet to respond to Foster’s requests or other comments regarding her grand plan and whether or not it’s plausible.
Unfortunately, Lake Sidney Lanier is no stranger to fatal accidents. Over the years, as boat traffic on the lake has gotten heavier and heavier, hundreds of boat collisions have taken the lives of outdoor enthusiasts. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the past three decades have seen more deaths than others.
In fact, between 1994 and 2018, there were reports of more than 170 deaths from drowning and boating that occurred on the lake.