Thurmond Lake reaches full pool for first time since 2009

Thurmond Lake reached full pool of 330 feet during the weekend for the first time since 2009, as shown on the tile gauge at Thurmond Dam.

 

Thurmond Lake reached its official full pool during the weekend for the first time since Nov. 19, 2009.

Rainfall throughout the basin helped propel the 70,000-acre reservoir past 330 feet above sea level early Saturday. Monday’s level was 330.02.

According to the National Weather Service, Augusta received heavy rains, too, with 1.87 inches falling Sunday at Daniel Field airport, bringing the month’s total to 7.43 inches.

Augusta Regional Airport’s gauge recorded 1.19 inches Sunday, or 5.83 inches since June 1.

Although totals were lower along Thurmond Lake – where Army Corps of Engineers gauges measured 0.73 inches Sunday – the region along the lake’s shoreline averaged 2.28 inches for the month.

The lake is considered full at 330 feet above sea level, with anything above that mark considered flood storage. The lake is capable of storing an additional 5 feet, if necessary, to reduce the effects of flooding downstream.

The gauges on Thurmond Dam can measure pool elevations up to 340 feet, but levels would likely not be allowed to exceed 335, corps spokesman Billy Birdwell said.

Excess water is released through the dam’s hydropower turbines to make more electricity and bring down water levels. The dam also has about two dozen “tainter gates” that can be opened in the unlikely event of an emergency need to release large volumes of water.

The National Weather Service forecast called for continued scattered showers Monday and early today, with occasionally heavy rains.

Monday’s pool level reflects a 15.59-foot gain since the 2012 lowpoint of 314.43 feet above sea level, recorded Dec. 10.

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TODAY’S FORECAST

Some sun

High: 91 Low: 68

WEATHER, 6D

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