Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Lake Murray Water Level Update

Sunshine Today at Lake Murray and in Columbia!   
We have had rain and cloudy days every day in the Lake Murray area since September 24th.  Then the low pressure system and some effects from Hurricane Joaquin caused historic rain and flooding from  October 1st through yesterday.    The heaviest rain was from the coastal areas of Charleston to Myrtle Beach and up through the middle part of the state and through Columbia.    Some parts of Columbia and Lexington have had very heavy and damaging floods.  Unfortunately, there have been drowning deaths, mostly in cars.

At Lake Murray, water levels are at near historic highs, but NOT over the 360' flood stage.  On October 1st, the water level was at a normal seasonal level of about 356.52.     On this date, the owner of the lake, South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, began lowering water levels with increased flow through the hydro plant.   This took the water level to about 356.2 on October 3rd.  The normal summer time water level is about 358' and the normal winter time water level is about 354'.

SCE&G had to release additional water from the emergency spillway gates on Sunday, October 4th and Monday October 5th.    As I understand, these gates had not been used to release water (except annual testing) since about 47 years ago.   Water levels continued to increase during this time as SCE&G worked to balance water release at the lake with concerns for increased river flows downstream.  As of October 6th, water releases from the Dreher Shoals dam on Lake Murray have been significantly reduced to aid in downstream river flows.

The water level today, Tuesday October 6th,  is 359.31.  This is an increase of 3 feet just since last Saturday, October 3rd.  It appears this may be near the peak as the rains stopped yesterday and we have sunshine today.  This is the highest level of Lake Murray we have seen during our 12 years of living on this beautiful lake.

SCE&G has to carefully monitor and manage water levels with two primary concerns - water inflows from the Saluda River watershed and Lake Greenwood AND how it releases water as it impacts downstream in the lower Saluda and the Congaree Rivers.  

Link to Lake Murray water levels

Lake Murray Water Levels - Sep. 29 - Oct. 6

Note stake in water just beyond and to right of birdhouse.  The bottom of this stake is the normal summer high waster elevation.   The lake level as of October 6th is about 3-4 feet above normal for this time of year.

Sunshine at Lake Murray!

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Resident & Realtor
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants