The season of ‘nothing stays the same’

The Savannah River Basin continued to bolster the prevailing theme for 2020: Change is the new routine.

April and May are normally the start of the drier season where our water managers must contend more sharply with increases in demand for water from people (hydropower), plants (transpiration) and the planet (evaporation).

However, this year we’ve seen a surge in precipitation. Thurmond collected 4.8 inches — more than an inch above its average – and it was the driest sub-basin in May.

Russell received 6.8 inches (compared to its 3.7-inch average), which was its fifth highest on record.

Hartwell led all sub-basins with a whopping 8.7 inches of rain in May, nearly twice its average (4.6 inches). This is especially impressive as not even 10 years ago (2011) the sub-basin registered a big goose egg in May (0.00 inches).

Last month’s take was the fourth highest amount since we started recording data in 1948. Besides the precipitation, our reservoirs have seen a lot of activity during the pandemic.

We recently reopened campgrounds and additional boat ramps at Hartwell and Thurmond, (while closing Hartwell’s Singing Pines boat ramp because of safety issues related to its use).

Our recreation and operations staff continues to weigh the situation with regard to public safety and available resources as the summer recreation season progresses.

Any changes to the status of our facilities will be announced on the major social media platforms (here, Facebook and Twitter) and via news releases to local and regional outlets.

In the meantime, these websites list the current status of our boat ramps at Hartwell and Thurmond. (USACE does not operate Russell boat ramps. They’re operated by state / local governments.)

~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communication Office

About U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District oversees a multimillion 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
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