Policy change has lake level up

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 10:27 AM
Last updated 10:41 AM
  • Follow Latest News

The Army Corps of Engineers will extend its temporary shutdown of flows through Thurmond Dam in ongoing efforts to preserve water levels in upstate reservoirs.

“We’ll keep it off at least one more day and possibly two,” corps spokesman Billy Birdwell said.

As of this morning, the drought stricken lake had risen 5.01 feet since Friday, to an elevation of 320.70 feet above sea level. Full pool is 330.

The dam’s turbines were halted Saturday after the corps determined flows in the lower Savannah River were adequate to supply water users in Augusta, which usually depend on flows from Thurmond Lake. Rainfall across the region averages 2 to as much as 4.7 inches.

“The reason we were able to turn it off was that, with all the rainfall, Stevens Creek and other creeks going into that lower part of the river were supplying the river’s needs completely,” Mr. Birdwell said.

Inflows are beginning to dwindle, meaning the turbines at Thurmond Dam may be reactivated Thursday or Friday.

However, once Thurmond resumes releasing water, the corps plans to take steps that will help Lake Hartwell upstream begin to recover, which could cause lake levels at Thurmond to fall again.

“Thurmond will be so far out of balance with Hartwell that we will probably get the downstream needs mostly from Thurmond to let the two reservoirs get back into balance,” Mr. Birdwell said. “By shutting off Hartwell, it will allow that lake to come back up.”

Once both reservoirs are approximately equal in terms of storage remaining, the system will again be rebalanced.

---------------

Thurmond Lake pool levels:

Friday 315.69

Saturday 316.15

Sunday 317.22

Monday 318.68

Tuesday 319.93

Today 320.70

TOTAL GAIN: 5.01 feet

Comments (17) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
jamc1103
141
Points
jamc1103 03/04/09 - 12:51 pm
0
0
So basicaly this was all done

So basicaly this was all done for no reason, since it will fall right back to accomodate Hartwell. So what is the good news? It will be up for about a week in the middle of the winter, where no one will see it.

Riverman1
87513
Points
Riverman1 03/04/09 - 01:09 pm
0
0
The river between Thurmond

The river between Thurmond Dam and Stevens Creek Dams has just about dried up to nothing. The Chronicle or News-Times should get a photo of this. I am sure fish and flora have been severely damaged. Oxygen content in the scant remaining water must be near zero. I thought it was a great idea to stop flow during the flood like conditions, but there is certainly no flooding now and the river is dry. They have waited too long to reopen the gates. And as the previous poster said, all the saved water will be used for Hartwell in any case.

southern2
6772
Points
southern2 03/04/09 - 01:24 pm
0
0
I'm thankful for every drop

I'm thankful for every drop that has raised the lake 5 feet in less than a week. Good job Corps for your part in this.

pointman
0
Points
pointman 03/04/09 - 03:49 pm
0
0
the water naZis have done

the water naZis have done enough and their track record proves it....time to privatize

My_2nd
0
Points
My_2nd 03/04/09 - 04:06 pm
0
0
and it'll be 10' low next

and it'll be 10' low next week.

Riverman1
87513
Points
Riverman1 03/04/09 - 04:26 pm
0
0
It is now 3:25 PM and it

It is now 3:25 PM and it appears the Columbia County portion of the river between the two dams is going back up. I assume the release from Thurmond has started again. Thanks.

Rob Pavey
552
Points
Rob Pavey 03/04/09 - 05:46 pm
0
0
does the stevens creek

does the stevens creek reservoir's level depend on SCE&G's generating schedule at the stevens creek dam? or the corps?

SandTiago
0
Points
SandTiago 03/04/09 - 06:09 pm
0
0
Dam!

Dam!

g-dog express
0
Points
g-dog express 03/04/09 - 06:29 pm
0
0
It is a shame that the Corp

It is a shame that the Corp of Engineers can't keep the level of the lake up. I for one will put my boat in the water until it returns to a safe level to protect the investment I have in my boat. As a result I do not pay the corps for parking in their park nor do I buy fishing license, bait, drinks, and all other kinds of fishing paraphernalia. Guess it all flows down hill when someone upstream gets stingy.

Georgiais1
0
Points
Georgiais1 03/04/09 - 06:46 pm
0
0
Damn Hartwell.....Lets take

Damn Hartwell.....Lets take care of Clark Hill 1st.

g-dog express
0
Points
g-dog express 03/04/09 - 06:51 pm
0
0
Well, we don't have much

Well, we don't have much choice about Hartwell since they are upstream. But Hartwell had kept Thurmond so low surely they should be full by now. Also I wonder how much revenue has been lost. I'm sure I'm not the only one staying away.

gnumbgnuts
0
Points
gnumbgnuts 03/04/09 - 07:33 pm
0
0
My_2nd, it's already 10 ft

My_2nd, it's already 10 ft low. Pool is 330.

Fishboy
29
Points
Fishboy 03/04/09 - 08:59 pm
0
0
It's not the Corps' fault.

It's not the Corps' fault. Atlanta has built a secret underground pipeline that is stealing water from Clarks Hill.

lady30906
0
Points
lady30906 03/05/09 - 08:31 am
0
0
we have suffered

we have suffered recreationally for the last several years. Maybe if we all stopped going up there, spending our hard earned money on getting our boats stuck, fishing in areas that are dried up, buying bait and beer to have a good time and only getting aggravated, camping in a mudhole, etc., then they'd raise it due to the drastic loss of revenue. It's a shame that our lake isn't as important as the others further up.

lady30906
0
Points
lady30906 03/05/09 - 08:33 am
0
0
It makes me sick to drive

It makes me sick to drive towards Atlanta and see the water waaaayyyy up and people enjoying the outdoors, while we sit down here and just watch it get worse and worse.

Tell it like it is
35
Points
Tell it like it is 03/05/09 - 09:53 am
0
0
Write your govt officials and

Write your govt officials and demand that the law that the COE has to abide to be changed to keep the lake level up.
House of Rep. and Congress can remedy this.
When Charlie Norwood was in Govt he kept a good control over the lake.

JakeQ
69
Points
JakeQ 03/05/09 - 01:23 pm
0
0
People at Hartwell are mad,

People at Hartwell are mad, people at Thurmond are mad, and now the people around Stephens Creek are mad. Sounds to me like they've got a pretty good balance already!
There's 60,000 acres of lake still there, I think I'm going fishing...

Back to Top

Top headlines

Search of alleged dealer's home found drugs, firearms

An Augusta man who alleged sheriff's officers have used illegal steroids, some for years, came to the attention of a Richmond County Sheriff's narcotics officer twice, according to an ...
Search Augusta jobs