Video: Corps awards Bassmaster competitor for saving a life

A drowning was prevented when a Bassmaster competitor pulled a man out of the frigid Hartwell Lake water. The below video shows Savannah District Commander, Col. Tom Tickner presenting the award at the Bassmaster weigh-in to David Walker for thinking fast and saving a life. Continue reading

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Public comments sought to update Thurmond Lake shoreline management plan

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, seeks public comments for an upcoming shoreline management plan update for the J. Strom Thurmond Lake project. The Corps will hold public workshops in three communities March 2-5 to allow the public to gain information or offer suggestions.

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Hartwell Lake to usher in spring ‘Clean Up Green Up’

ThurmondCleanUpCampaignThis spring, Hartwell Lake will host the “Clean Up Green Up,” a new cleanup initiative set to revamp the annual fall tradition. Typically held in conjunction with National Public Lands Day in September, the new cleanup initiative is scheduled for April 18-25 to coincide with Earth Day. Continue reading

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On groundhogs and water levels: What will reservoirs look like on Memorial Day?

February has arrived and Groundhog Day has come-and-gone. So this makes me a little late in giving my annual prediction on how the three Corps of Engineers’ Savannah River reservoirs will begin the 2015 tourist season.

Now whether my prognostication will be any better than those of large, furry rodents is to be determined. Will I be better than Punxsutawney Phil (Pennsylvania), Gen. Beauregard Lee (Georgia), Jimmy the Groundhog (Wisconsin) or those pesky prairie dogs of my west Texas childhood? Time will tell. Continue reading

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January rainfall below average, reservoirs on the rise

January brought less than average rainfall at all three upper basin reservoirs with the largest rain deficit recorded at Hartwell sub-basin. Hartwell fell short of its January average by 1.8 inches, and Thurmond and Russell each missed their January averages by 1.5 inches. In spite of the rain shortfall, the reservoir levels rose, remaining slightly below seasonal guide curve. Winter guide curve or “full pool” gradually increases from Jan. 1 to April 1 when the guide curve defines summer full pool. Continue reading

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Recovery of CSS Georgia remains in progress after 150 years in Savannah River

Jeffrey Pardee, Panamerican diver tender, examines diver James Duff’s equipment and topside air supply during an initial dive event Jan. 22, 2015, on the Savannah River near Old Fort Jackson. Duff, a Panamerican diver and maritime archaeologist, used a rope to connect sections of the CSS Georgia wreck site scuttled on the river floor.  A network of ropes connects wreck site artifacts and assists divers to navigate through the murky underwater floor of the Savannah River. CSS Georgia recovery is the first action begun under the construction phase of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Chelsea Smith.)

Jeffrey Pardee, Panamerican diver tender, examines diver James Duff’s equipment and topside air supply during an initial dive event Jan. 22, 2015, on the Savannah River near Old Fort Jackson. Duff, a Panamerican diver and maritime archaeologist, used a rope to connect sections of the CSS Georgia wreck site scuttled on the river floor. A network of ropes connects wreck site artifacts and assists divers to navigate through the murky underwater floor of the Savannah River. CSS Georgia recovery is the first action begun under the construction phase of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Chelsea Smith.)

Recovering the CSS Georgia ironclad scuttled on the Savannah River floor marks the beginning of the construction phase of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

Col. Thomas Tickner, Savannah District commander, will host a kick-off event Jan. 29 at Old Fort Jackson in Savannah to commemorate the launch of SHEP’s construction phase. Continue reading

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Thurmond spillway gates receive a tune-up

Spillway gates at Thurmond sub-basin are currently undergoing repair on a number of areas where pitting has developed on the surface of the gates.

The gates are armored with industrial grade coating, which typically lasts 30 years, to protect them from the elements. Periodic maintenance prevents the pits from getting past the industrial coating into the gates, said Scott Hyatt, Thurmond Lake operations project manager. Continue reading

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Plant Vogtle water permit follows current basin water manual

Over the past several months the occasional fan of Balancing the Basin has voiced concern about the expansion of Plant Vogtle on the Savannah River. Most of the concern focused on the increased water needs (and impacts on reservoir levels) of the two new nuclear reactors currently under construction near Waynesboro, Georgia. Stakeholders can put away those worries because the Corps of Engineers has not been asked nor has any plans to change reservoir release rates to support the new reactors. Continue reading

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2014 rainfall just shy of average, December ranks above average

Observed rainfall in the upper basin recorded deficits in 2014 for all three sub-basins with Hartwell’s deficit being most pronounced. However, for most of the year lake levels remained at or above average, making for a near-optimal year in water-related recreation. Continue reading

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Hartwell, Thurmond Lake Offices accept Christmas trees for recycling

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Hartwell and Thurmond Lake Project Offices will accept natural Christmas trees for recycling Dec. 26 through Feb. 15, 2015 at Hartwell and Dec. 20 through Jan. 8, 2015 at Thurmond. Continue reading

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