The Atlantic Hurricane season is here. That means heightened potential for heavy winds, heavy storms and heavy rains. South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is urging dam operators to get ready, saying, “dam owners who have the ability to lower their water levels should, to provide additional storage for anticipated rainfall”.
Scott Hyatt is the Project Operations Manager for both the New Savannah Bluff Dam and the Strom Thurmond Dam. He says their water-plan is balance.
Hyatt says, “we'll get an estimate out there of how much rainfall they think is coming. Of course with weather, it's always going to be an estimate– they don't know exactly. We'll look at that and our water managers down at the Savannah District office will figure out what they need to do to balance the system.”
It is a system he says was built to wade the water in times of heavy rainfall.
Hyatt says that dams like the one here at New Savannah Bluff are built with a 5-foot buffer. That means, unless we get more than 5 feet of water here in the Augusta area, there's little cause for concern of flooding from the Savannah River.
With anywhere between 2 and 6 inches of rainfall from the storm, Hyatt calls this a small episode for the large dams in the two-state.
“We'll catch that water during this event and then, as the rain event recedes, we will let that water back out to bring everything into balance,” Hyatt explains.
Balancing out the threat of an overflow in the two-state. Hyatt adds, “there's really no chance of that happening in an event like this.”
Hyatt tells us that he doesn't expect any dam overflows here in the CSRA from the recent rains. He says flooding incidents have happened in the 90s, but assured me that impacts were few and far in between since the reservoir was built.