The calm water of Lake Thurmond is causing a surge of excitement for local businesses. “The lake drives the visitors and that's what drives a lot of the local economy and a lot of the local businesses that are around here from your marinas, bait and tackle shops to the regular stores all the way up into the real estate market,” says John Defoor of Defoor Realty. His family has been anchored in real estate at Lake Thurmond for many decades. But in recent years, low lake levels slowed the typical flood of sales. “Everything from the regular real estate market to the economy lake levels obviously only hurt.”
However, the area is healing due to the increase in rain over the first half of this year raising the lake to a half inch from full pool level. That's a significant change in tide from previous years.
Scott Hyatt, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, says, “We did see full pool right in 2009 but that was the only year since 2006 that we've even come close,” says Operations Project Manager Scott Hyatt of the US Army Corps of Engineers. He says in the past two months, the lake has had more visitors than all of last year. “That will translate into more jobs in the community. We have an economic impact from spending from those visitors and the tens of millions of dollars that will add millions of dollars to the local economy.”
And hopefully an overflow of business for local owners like the Defoors. “It's better than it has been and we only hope that it's going to continue to get better and to pick up,” explains John Defoor.
The lake is projected to be at full pool level for the 4th of July.