Spillways to Open More Frequently as Rain Continues to Come In

July 11, 2013

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

 

Hartwell Dam spillways release water into Savannah River.

Hartwell Dam spillways release water into Savannah River.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to open the spillways at Hartwell Dam at regular intervals for the next several weeks until the lake is back down to full pool.

This time last year, Hartwell Lake was almost 12 feet below normal.

But Monday night, the heavy rainfall pushed the level on Hartwell Lake to 665 ft mean sea level (msl) – five feet above full pool.

That led the National Weather Service in Greenville-Spartanburg to declare Hartwell Lake at flood stage early Tuesday.

Corps spokesman Billy Birdwell said the move to begin releasing water is a safety measure.

Birdwell said for the next several weeks water will be released from the flood storage pools at Thurmond, Russell and Hartwell Dams until all flood storage pools drop to near guide curve for this time of year.

For Hartwell Lake, that means 660 ft.-msl.

“For the next several weeks water will be released from the flood storage pools at Thurmond, Russell and Hartwell Dams until all flood storage pools drop to near guide curve for this time of year,” said Corps spokesman Billy Birdwell. “Or 660 ft.-msl at Hartwell, 475 ft-msl at Russell and 330 ft.-msl at Thurmond. The flood storage pools are the capacity of the reservoirs above “full pool.” The flood storage pools temporarily store excess storm runoff in the three-lake Savannah River Basin system.”

The flood storage pools temporarily store excess storm runoff in the three-lake Savannah River Basin system.

This afternoon, the Corps plans on testing the spillways at Lake Thurmond and Lake Russell today.

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