Forecast hints at continued recovery for Thurmond Lake

Heavy rainfall has helped Thurmond Lake rebound more than 3 feet since the beginning of the year, with water levels forecast to rise an additional 4 feet by late April.

The reservoir, with a normal full pool of 330 feet above sea level, began the year at 315.68. As of Thursday, the lake’s level was above 319 for the first time since August.

Barb Shelley, the facilitator for the Friends of the Savannah River Basin stakeholders group, said in a monthly newsletter that Thur­mond is expected to rise 4.4 feet, to a pool level of 323.4 feet, with Lake Hartwell upstream gaining 3.9 feet.

Though the Army Corps of En­gineers’ 10-week projection is encouraging, those gains might not be enough to completely refill the lakes.

“Historically, the lakes level off in the April time frame due to the increased temperatures and plant growth,” Shelley said. “There­fore, unless we get a significant amount of rain in the rest of February and March, the lakes are unlikely to reach full pool this spring.”

The lowest level recorded at the lake last year was 314.43 feet above sea level Dec. 10.

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