It’s heating up

As the summer kicks into full gear and hurricane season does, too, we normally see a slight, welcome bump in July precipitation along the Savannah River Basin. This year, not so much.

While each of the sub-basins fell short of its average by a half an inch or more, it’s interesting to point out all three collected almost exactly the same amount:

Sub-basin Rainfall (inches) Average (inches)
Hartwell 3.87 5.12
Russell 3.83 4.24
Thurmond 3.83 4.22

We’ve definitely had better Julys – like in 2013 when Hartwell was inundated with 13+ inches and Thurmond and Russell each received about 10 inches – but all in all, it was just another “meh” month: nothing to write home about, but probably not a cause for concern, either.

Speaking of concern, if you haven’t restocked your hurricane / emergency kit for the season, now is the perfect time. Ready.gov has several helpful tools.

This week, unless you live in the Carolinas, you probably read or watched more about Hurricane Isaias than you experienced. Here in downtown Savannah we received less rain than a typical afternoon summer shower with nominal winds.

I say this not to taunt the hurricane gods, but as a gentle wake-up call to be prepared for the next one. We took the opportunity to mobilize our survey vessels and personnel, and triple check our supplies (now with COVID-19 bonus items like masks and sanitizer).

In the event a storm forces the Brunswick or Savannah ports to close, our teams work with the Coast Guard and Georgia Ports Authority to identify potential navigational hazards (such as debris or shoaling) after the storm as passed.

Isaias was the ninth named storm of the season and NOAA’s Hurricane Center still expects a busy hurricane season.

As the graph at the top of this post indicates, we are now on the cusp of peak season where the number of hurricanes and tropical storms begins to increase precipitously.

Last year, we produced a short video on three steps the public can take to prepare for hurricane season. These tips are a good place to start.

However, it’s not a bad idea to consider (and plan) for how the current pandemic could complicate the situation on the ground as it relates to evacuations and storm preparations.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to be prepared for the unexpected and, as always, to remain flexible.

~ 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 Facebook.com/SavannahCorps
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