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ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. —The Army Corps of Engineers said Friday, they have opened the spillway gates on Hartwell Dam because of the high water level caused by precipitation from the winter storm.
Opening all the spillways is an historic event, happening only twice before in 1964 and 2013.
Russell Wicke, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District, said the reservoir is more than 5 feet above its targeted level and more than 2 feet over the level it reaches when full in the summertime.
In addition to the rainfall, privately owned reservoirs upstream of Hartwell Lake have released water accounting for additional inflow into the lake.
All 12 spillways will remain open until Monday. Opening the spillways will allow 13,400 cubic feet of water per second to pass through.
The Corps stresses that water is not breaching the dam. The release is to prevent levels from ever getting high enough for that to happen.
The public is urged to avoid the area. Those who insist on visiting should exercise extreme caution when driving or walking in the area. Boaters should avoid all areas immediately downstream of the Hartwell Dam.