Savannah River Basin leads Average Rainfalls at halftime

Thurmond sub-basin has been putting up some good numbers thus far against the Average Rainfalls, but the Savannah River Basin will need consistent performance to have a shot at a record-breaking season.

Coming off a mediocre 2019 season, the Savannah River Basin looked to rebuild this year and has already reaped the benefits of preseason adjustments.

The basin’s star trio fell short of its average for the first time this year (the second time for Hartwell), but is on pace to finish out one of the strongest seasons since these statistics were recorded.

Thurmond led all scorers in June with 3.78 inches (97% of its 3.88-inch average), followed closely by Russell (3.59 inches compared to its 3.83-inch average). Hartwell had a sluggish performance, registering a mere 3.11 inches, just 65% of its 4.77-inch average.

By the time the June 30 bell sounded, the Average Rainfalls had prevailed.  

However, most diehard fans are hoping June’s showing was an anomaly rather than an emerging trend.

Two years ago Hartwell finished with a cumulative 71.99 inches, the seventh highest since 1948. That same year, Thurmond amassed 58.15 inches, its third best. Each sub-basin is approximately 10 inches above the cumulative rainfall it collected in the first half of 2018.

And if both sub-basins can muster at least their monthly average for the second half of the year, they’ll trounce those 2018 performances.

As the second half heats up and transpiration and evaporation begin to take their toll on the sub-basins, the trio has already collected between 35-45% of its average for July.

2020 has been anything but average thus far, but if the basin can surpass the Average Rainfalls, it’ll be in good shape for notching another record season.

~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communications Office

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Comp Study ends: Water quality, other concerns, leave drought plan unchanged

Officials here ended the second interim of the Savannah River Basin Comprehensive Study due to inadequate analysis, a lack of full partnership concurrence on the recommendation and insufficient funding.

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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.

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4 dredges work in concert as SHEP begins final push

The dredge Hampton Roads works just outside the Garden City Terminal in Port Wentworth, Ga.
Photo courtesy of Georgia Ports Authority.

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The deepening of the Savannah harbor has set a new precedent with four dredges in the harbor simultaneously, the Army Corps of Engineers announced.

The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) includes two dredges keeping the channel at its current authorized depth of 42 feet, followed by two dredges taking the channel to its new depth of 47 feet.

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Hartwell Lake closes Singing Pines boat ramp

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Corps of Engineers officials at Hartwell Lake have closed all access at Singing Pines Recreation Area, including the roadway leading to the boat ramp parking area, in response to repeated trespassing of the adjacent closed day-use area and public safety issues along the park entrance road and the boat ramp parking area.

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Phased reopening begins at Thurmond and Hartwell

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Phased reopening of Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds and additional boat ramps at reservoirs along the Savannah River will take place May 15 and May 18.

The gradual reopening will vary based on the ability to ensure visitors and Corps of Engineers staff remain safe and can continue to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Before opening facilities, workers will conduct a thorough cleaning of restrooms, showers and other common-use areas.

Restrooms at boat ramps currently in use will be reopened. Additional boat ramps not associated with closed day-use areas will reopen.

Visitors must bring their own soap and hand sanitizer and paper towels when using restrooms.

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Can’t stop, won’t stop (the rain)

As the coronavirus brought the world to a halt the last two months, another force of nature refused to slow down: rainfall along the Savannah River Basin.

The basin continued its above-average climb as spring began its full swing.

With the exception of the Hartwell sub-basin in March, which was 0.3 inches below average, each of the sub-basins received more than 1 inch (and in some cases 2+ inches) above average for the past two months.

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Augusta’s training wall served its purpose

SAVANNAH, Ga. – A team of experts from Savannah District recommends removing the training wall in the Savannah River which runs roughly down the center of the river for more than a mile through Augusta, Georgia, and North Augusta, South Carolina. The underwater wall was built in the early 20th century to aid commercial navigation.

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Thurmond closes 3 boat ramps

J. Strom Thurmond Lake has closed an additional three boat ramps in cooperation with local law enforcement to help achieve the national individual distancing standards set by the government.

Officials previously closed the visitors’ center and all restrooms, campgrounds and day-use areas (and boat ramps inside those areas) at the reservoir.

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Boat ramp rodeo

We’ve been fielding a lot of calls and direct messages regarding our boat ramps recently. Here’s the scoop – the current list is accurate as of Friday, April 3 at noon, HOWEVER, things can change rapidly.

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