Wet summer could make Southeast more vulnerable

The graph shows the hurricane and tropical storm activity by month. September and October are normally the most active times during the year.

Hydrologists from NOAA’s Southeast River Forecast Center released their most recent Water Resources Outlook last week. Continue reading

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One soggy summer

Every day as I pack up to go home I remind myself: This is not normal. Continue reading

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Balancing fish passage and current uses

(Editor’s Note: This post, written by Savannah District Deputy District Engineer Erik Blechinger, was published in the Augusta Chronicle July 21.)

Not all dams exist to create storage reservoirs or retain floodwaters; some dams were constructed simply to provide a deeper river channel for commercial navigation. Continue reading

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Thurmond opens registration for National Public Lands Day

More than 300 people participated in last year’s National Public Lands Day. Don’t miss your chance to make a big difference in your community. RSVP by Sept. 12.

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Thurmond Lake is seeking individual and group volunteers for its annual cleanup campaign on National Public Lands Day, Sept. 29, 2018. Continue reading

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Getting by with a little help from last month

The chart shows hourly Doppler radar estimates of rainfall for the Hartwell sub-basin in May.

Still on the mend from a two-year drought, the Savannah River Basin came roaring back in May, only to sputter out as the summer officially arrived. Continue reading

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Common questions and answers from the Fish Passage Open House

Last week we met with the local community in and around Augusta, Georgia, in order to reveal the five alternative fish passage designs under consideration for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) Fish Passage feature at the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam site.

After giving the presentation to different groups we noted that during the Q&A session some of the subject matter was prone to misunderstanding and a few questions were frequently asked. Continue reading

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Timing is everything (except when it’s not)

A view of J. Strom Thurmond Dam while its gates are being repaired. Counting from the right, repairs on the first 6 gates have been completed. Photo: Scott Hyatt

Seepage is visible on the sides of the spillway. Photo: Scott Hyatt

It’s safe to say the last few months have been good to the basin in terms of rainfall.

In May, Hartwell and Thurmond blew their averages out of the water, receiving more than double their normal precipitation (9.6 and 7.4 inches versus their 4.5 and 3.6 inch averages, respectively).

So why, now that we’re at full pool after enduring one of the worst droughts in the basin’s history, did the Corps of Engineers decide to start a maintenance project on Thurmond’s gates, which requires keeping the pool at 329 feet above mean sea level?

And for that matter, weren’t the gates already fixed a few years ago? Continue reading

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Corps of Engineers to hold public open house on fish passage at lock and dam

Local residents will have an opportunity to learn more about the ongoing analysis of the fish passage construction at the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam on Tuesday, June 26 in Augusta, Georgia. The informational open house will be led by officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District. Continue reading

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Hartwell Dam will test gates next week

Bottom line up front: The water released during this routine gate test will amount to a decrease in lake level by one-tenth of one inch, which is equivalent to the thickness of 25 sheets of paper.

SAVANNAH, Ga. – On June 19 the Corps of Engineers will conduct a required test of the spillway gates at Hartwell Dam on the upper Savannah River. Continue reading

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Savannah District to get a new commander Friday

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Col. Daniel H. Hibner will take command of the Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, from Col. Marvin L. Griffin, in a formal ceremony at 10 a.m., June 8.

Brig. Gen. Diana M. Holland, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ South Atlantic Division, will officiate at the formal change-of-command ceremony in the Oglethorpe Auditorium of the International Trade and Convention Center on Hutchinson Island.

Hibner comes to the Savannah District from U.S. Central Command Headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida. There he served as the Levant Branch Chief in the Plans and Policy Directorate working on issues covering portions of Syria and Iraq.
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