Tag Archives: Lake Hartwell

J. Strom Thurmond Dam, then and now

Eight years in the making, the J. Strom Thurmond Dam was a monumental task for engineers and construction workers in the 1940s and ‘50s. Archival footage in this video shows the steps they took to layer power plant fixtures as … Continue reading

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Dams demand best of operator trainees

(Above: Les Rice guides visitors through a quick tour of the J. Strom Thurmond Dam.) AUGUSTA, Ga. – J. Strom Thurmond Dam currently operates at 98 percent proficiency but its operators are expected to perform above this percentage. Operator Trainee … Continue reading

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Upper Savannah reservoirs enter Drought Level 1

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The three reservoirs on the Savannah River operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers entered the first drought level today when pool elevation at Thurmond Lake dipped below 326 feet above mean sea level (ft-msl). Entering … Continue reading

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Commander: Persistent, below normal rainfall expected to impact lake levels

Since I took command of the Savannah District in June 2015 we’ve been fortunate to have adequate, and sometimes abundant, rainfall and inflows to maintain full reservoir levels. Beginning in January we observed below-average rainfall throughout the basin, yet were … Continue reading

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A tale of the toothless El Niño?

I’m not one to taunt El Niño, especially in a season where forecasters have consistently predicted a strong showing, but two months of below-average rainfall have brought to mind the old lady from the 1980s Wendy’s commercial who asks, “Where’s the … Continue reading

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When it comes to rainfall, 5 feet is no small feat

The Savannah River Basin rang in the new year with a bang, but instead of watching the ball (or peach) drop, it basked in the El Niño-inspired, recording-breaking precipitation. Thurmond led all revelers with its 11.1 inches in December, which … Continue reading

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Lakes prepare for busy summer

As the temperatures rise and summer shifts into full gear, the recreation areas along the Savannah River Basin are, too.

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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 … 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) … 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 … Continue reading

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