Dry conditions prompt restrictions of Thurmond Lake flow

Continued dry weather prompted a flow reduction from Thurmond Lake Tuesday as the reservoir slipped into the second drought trigger level under a federally approved drought management plan.

“The reservoirs will likely continue to decline over the next several weeks unless a tropical system moves over the area,” said Stan Simpson, a water control manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

To slow the decline, the corps limited outflow from Thurmond Dam to 4,000 cubic feet per second, averaged over one week. The reduction from the level 1 rate of 4,200 cfs decreases the amount of hydropower generated through the dams but conserves more water in the reservoirs.

The pool elevation today was 323.8 feet above sea level, slightly below the drought plan’s Level 2 trigger.

Thurmond’s water inflow is about 35 percent of normal. Precipitation forecasts show little rain for the region in upcoming weeks. Hydrologists with the Savannah District note that current declining reservoir conditions follow a typical summer pattern.

 

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