Lake Levels continue to Fall

Lake-Hartwell2Despite the storms we’ve had over the past week, Lakes Hartwell and Thurmond remain in Drought Trigger Level One.

The U.S. Corps of Engineers Savannah District office says the lake levels at both lakes remain well below full pool.

As of Monday, Lake Hartwell’s lake level stood at 656.21 feet mean sea level. That’s four feet below full pool.

Lake Thurmond’s level on Monday was 325.5 feet above mean sea level – still well below full pool.

Corps spokesman Billy Birdwell says “the rule is both reservoirs have to be 2 feet above trigger level before we come out of that trigger level. So that is why we are still at the same current level.”

Typical late afternoon showers and thunderstorms have been kicking up almost everyday for the past couple of weeks.

Sunday night, those strong thunderstorms produced flood warnings across Northeast Georgia and the Upstate with over two inches of rain falling in some areas.

So where is all that rainfall going?

Birdwell said, it’s not going into the lakes. “It has been dry, so that means a lot of the rain that falls gets soaked into the ground and at the same time it is still hot so it is still evaporating real fast and trees are really sucking it out of the reservoir as well so all of these things are still applying.”

According to Birdwell, as far as the Corps is concerned, they are expecting to go into Drought Trigger Level 2 status in the coming weeks. “We may see some changes with some receding over the next 10 days. We could potentially go to Trigger Level 2. We are projecting that somewhere around the 20th of September.”

And Birdwell reminds anyone going out on the waters of Lakes Hartwell or Thurmond to use extra caution.

With the lake levels lower, the potential for boaters to hit sandbars and tree tops is much greater.

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