Closing the book on Irma

Like many folks throughout the Caribbean and southeastern U.S., I’m ready to put Hurricane Irma behind me.

Contrary to the initial projections, the East Coast was spared the bulk of her wrath. However, that fact has provided little comfort to the Savannah River Basin, which is still recovering from nearly two years of drought, and for its residents, who are probably still yearning for the rainfall that could have been.

And while it’s easy to get caught up in that “what if” cycle, consider what Irma did bring.

For the month of September, Hartwell collected 3.75 inches (compared to its 4.68 average), while Thurmond received 3.24 inches (versus its 3.52-inch average).

That means Irma delivered almost 80 percent of Thurmond’s take (2.5 inches) and more than half of Hartwell’s (just over 2 inches).

Without Irma, last month could have easily looked a lot like September 2016 (conversely), where Hartwell received a paltry 0.77 inches and Thurmond, 1.51 inches.

Looking ahead, fall is here and as the temperatures decrease, there’s a better chance things will start looking up for the Savannah River basin.

As temperatures drop, evaporation and transpiration will begin to decrease, too. That means a greater percentage of the rain we do receive will reach the reservoirs.

I’m not hoping for any more hurricanes, but I’ll still take any rain we can get.

~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communication Office

About US Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District oversees a multi-million dollar military construction program at 11 Army and Air Force installations in Georgia and North Carolina. We also manage water resources across the Coastal Georgia region, including maintenance dredging of the Savannah and Brunswick harbors; operation of three hydroelectric dams and reservoirs along the upper Savannah River; and administration of an extensive stream and wetland permitting and mitigation program within the state of Georgia. Follow us on Twitter @SavannahCorps and on Facebook.com/SavannahCorps

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