Hartwell Nearing Full Pool

Lake Hartwell is coming back down to full pool faster than first predicted.

As of Tuesday, the lake was at about 661.78 feet above mean sea level, less than two feet from full pool of 660 feet above mean sea level.

That is also down nearly four feet from flood stage earlier this month.

After opening the spillways several weeks ago to release water downstream, the Corps then doubled its output of water through the dam’s turbines and began generating more power last week.

However, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Billy Birdwell said output is almost back to normal this week.

” Outflows have come way down,” Birdwell said. “Although we did generate (power) over the weekend we were only targeting just under 7,500 cfs. Last Wednesday we were running just under 20,000 cfs, but now we’re down to just under 7,500.”

Birdwell said 7,500 cfs is close to normal to for this time of year.

Additionally, he said inflows from Hartwell Lake’s rivers, streams and other tributaries are also down dramatically from earlier this month.

” Inflows have come down tremendously,” he said. “As of last Tuesday, they were at just under 14,000 cfs, but then they started coming down very rapidly.”

He said the Corps expects inflows to continue to drop to below 3,000 cfs by the end of the week, but admitted that prediction could change based on how much, if any, rain the area sees.

(MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia contributed to this report)