River to keep flood warning gauge

A monitoring station on the Savannah River that was to be eliminated due to federal budget cuts will remain functional after Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division agreed to pay for part of its operation.

The gage at the river’s confluence with Butler Creek is operated by the U.S. Geologic Survey and used by emergency management agencies, the National Weather Service and others. One of its main functions is to help issue flood warnings and advisories that could affect metro Augusta.

The U.S. Geologic Survey office was unable to maintain the $15,500 annual cost to operate the gage but agreed to provide $6,200 in matching grants if another agency could make up the $9,300, said Pam Tucker, emergency services director for Columbia County.

Georgia authorities have since agreed to partner with the Geologic Survey to keep the gage intact.

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