Thurmond Lake could be almost a foot higher by mid-January because of recent rainfall, according to the newest projections by the Army Corps of Engineers.
The lake’s normal full pool is 330 feet above sea level, but projections made in October – when the lake level was about 322 feet – predicted it would fall another 5 feet – to about 316 – sometime in January.
The outlook improved somewhat in November, when the forecast was changed to predict a pool level around 318 feet above sea level in January.
The newest projection, posted Tuesday, called for the lake level to rise to around 321.4 feet before starting to fall again.
Thurmond Lake is fed from rainfall throughout the 10,000-square-mile Savannah River Basin that also includes lakes Russell and Hartwell upstream. The regionwide rainfall totals reflect an 11.8-inch deficit for 2011.
During the past 24 hours, moderate rainfall fell in many parts of the basin, and also in Columbia County, where gauges measured totals ranging from 1.02 inches at the county water treatment plant near Pollards Corner to 1.75 inches at the Little River water plant off Hardy-McManus Road. A gauge at the Evans Government Center recorded 1.35 inches.