Thurmond Lake likely to fall 4 more feet by September

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Thurmond Lake will fall an additional four feet by early September, likely triggering reduced flows into the Savannah River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

As of Monday, the lake’s level – 319.75 feet above sea level – was 10.25 feet below full pool, with projections that it will recede below 316 feet, the elevation that triggers more flow reductions.

Though portions of south Georgia have received enough rainfall to improve or eliminate drought conditions, extreme hot weather and lack of rainfall continue to plague east central Georgia, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which places Lincoln, Columbia and most of Richmond counties in the “exceptional” drought category – the direst classification possible.

Inflows to Thurmond Lake – a critical factor in maintaining pool levels – were only 18 cubic feet per second above the lowest levels recorded since the lake was built, according to the most recent newsletter from Friends of the Savannah River Basin, a stakeholder advocacy group.

New models from the Na­tion­al Climate Center indicate a 50 percent possibility of a weak El Niño weather pattern forming late in the year, which could bring more rainfall, the newsletter said.

“This is generally correlated with cooler, wetter weather during the winter recharge season if it does develop,” it said. “But for the next 90 days the drought is expected to persist or intensify for upper basin.”

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Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 07/09/12 - 12:04 pm
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Whoa! 4 more feet. I would

Whoa! 4 more feet. I would hate to be the new owners of Little River Marina. They will need to invest in a tug boat to pull boats off the bottom.

Little Lamb
47923
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Little Lamb 07/09/12 - 12:27 pm
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Predictions

If the Corps actually believes these predictions, it looks like they would lower the outfall flow rates now, rather than waiting till the levels fall 4 more feet. Why not be pro-active?

David Parker
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David Parker 07/09/12 - 12:55 pm
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With the consistent poor

With the consistent poor conditions of our lake annually, I'm leaning further and further toward going to the river. It's cooler and stays pretty consistent with levels.

I understand how the upper basins have to have what they have and that the corp cannot make it rain or change the temps. But the fact is, it's not that great to swim in tepid to warm orange water. And it's not that great to run your boat up on a bottom feature and crack the hull. It's not that great to have to walk half a football field from your picnic table to the water's edge. I'm not a fish but I can promise you that they don't like lower water levels either, for alot of different reasons.

I've never been a river person. I go but if given a choice, I prefer lake. Now I'm not so quick to make that call.

One day you may be calling me a Riverman! =?

Riverman1
90291
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Riverman1 07/09/12 - 01:24 pm
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David, there's only one

David, there's only one Riverman. Ha. Honestly, the river has been hurt, too. The flows have already been lowered beyond the prescribed amount. We have the same problem unless you take your boat out to deep parts to swim or something. Betty's Branch upstream from the boat ramp is a shady place and has a lot of people jumping in and so on.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 07/09/12 - 01:44 pm
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The real draw for me is the

The real draw for me is the temp of the water. And the lake just succumbs to the heat when it's down like that. It's never going to be cold like the Savannah, but deeper basin translates to a more forgiving temp change.

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 07/09/12 - 09:35 pm
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David, I love the River for

David, I love the River for boating especially long trips. Too many gators and snakes and swift current for swimming.

southern2
7044
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southern2 07/10/12 - 05:54 am
1
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3 questions please.....In the

3 questions please.....In the present drought conditions, why is only 3 of the 10 southeast lakes listed today in the AC more than 3 foot below full pool? Why is only Thurmond discharged on the weekend to feed the river while Hartwell and Russell are not? What is the benefit of keeping the middle lake in the basin, Russell, at full pool while the 2 outer lakes are drained?

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