Santee Cooper has stepped up the release of water from Lake Marion into the rain-swamped Santee River, but emergency managers say no problems have been reported downstream so far.
“The water is high,” said Tom Smith, Berkeley County emergency preparedness director, who spent Sunday on the river near Jamestown. “I’ve seen it a lot higher.”
Georgetown County also reported no problems so far. It would be mid-week before the county saw trouble, said Sam Hodge, emergency manager. But the river drains rainfall well and he doesn’t expect problems.
Santee Cooper, the utility that manages the Marion-Moultrie lakes, doubled the volume of water on Monday that it released on Sunday, said Mollie Gore, corporate communications manager. The increased spill continued Tuesday and managers will re-evaluate lake levels and weather Wednesday. The already full lakes are now absorbing water from several consecutive days of rain that fell in rivers upstream.
Gore said last week that managers were watching lake levels as the Lowcountry and region face more rain than seen in years.
About 75,000 gallons per second are being spilled, but the release is only half of the volume released for several days in May, Gore said.
“It’s not as big a spill and we don’t expect it to last that long,” she said.