Heavy rains in the Upstate and throughout the Santee Cooper watershed have forced Santee Cooper to open six primary spillway gates on Lake Marion at the Santee Dam.

The state-owned utility is releasing 150,000 gallons of water per second into the Santee River. The area downstream is sparsely populated. The release started Tuesday with half the amount being released.

Spilling will continue until further notice.

For more information, call the lakes line at 1-800-92LAKES.