Santee Cooper continues Lake Marion spilling operation

  • Monday, July 15, 2013

More than 225,000 gallons of water per second has been spilled from Lake Marion into Lake Moultrie via the Santee Dam. Water from the lake flowed into the Tail Race Canal (above), pictured over the weekend. DAN BROWN/INDEPENDENT

While Tropical Storm Chantal passed on a weekend trip through the Carolina coast, the area continued to get drenched from heavy rains that resulted in the releasing of more than 225,000 gallons of water per second from Lake Marion into Lake Moultrie to accommodate runoff from the torrential rains experienced in the Upstate.
“Santee Cooper is increasing our ongoing spilling operations at the Santee Dam on Lake Marion,” said Santee Cooper spokesperson Mollie Gore in a statement. “To help counter increased inflows from the Upstate and in anticipation of flows the next few days.
“To do this, we’re lifting the spillway gates to six feet.”
Originally the gates were opened to four feet to spill an estimated 150,000 gallons per second into Lake Moultrie due to heavy rains experienced over the last two weeks. 
“The past several days of heavy rains in the Upstate and throughout the Santee Cooper watershed have caused increased inflows to the Santee Cooper Lakes system, resulting in spilling operations on Lake Marion,” Gore said.
Santee Cooper began spilling on July 10 through six primary spillway gates at the Santee Dam, and increased the spill from 75,000 gallons of water per second to 150,000 gallons per second into the Santee River.
The statement said that spilling would continue until further notice. Updates can be found on Santee Cooper’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Spilling is a normal part of Santee Cooper’s hydroelectric operations in periods of increased flows into the lakes. Information is updated each business day on the lakes information line, 1-800-92LAKES.

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