Water falls to low for year

Even if Thurmond Lake doesn't fall another inch, 2008 has already included the lake's third-lowest levels since 1962, when detailed record-keeping began, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

On Friday, the lake was at 315.12 feet above sea level - its lowpoint of the year. The only other annual lowpoints that were lower were Dec. 29, 1988, when the lake hit 313.22; and its lowest point, 312.79, recorded Feb. 15, 1989, during one of the worst droughts of the last century.

Seventeen of the corps' 33 boat ramps are closed because of low water, and others - including Columbia County's Wildwood Park tournament launch site - are unusable until waters begin to rise.

Forecasts remain bleak, as some of the driest months of the year lie ahead.

According to corps projections, Thurmond Lake could fall another foot by Dec. 1 unless adequate rainfall appears.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119,or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

Worst Lowpoints

Thurmond Lake's lowest annual pool levels since 1962:

FEB. 15, 1989-------------312.79

DEC. 29, 1988-------------313.22

SEPT. 26, 2008------------315.12

SEPT. 14, 2002------------315.34

DEC. 25, 2007-------------316.18

OCT. 27, 1986-------------316.45

DEC. 31, 2001-------------316.91

NOV. 18, 1981-------------317.58

DEC. 16, 1970-------------317.87

DEC. 21, 1987-------------318.05