Good and bad news about the drought

The government reports that in the Lake Hartwell sub-basin during January, the second highest amount of rainfall of any January since the Army Corps of Engineers started tracking it in 1948 — 8.65.” Creeks and streams continue to send inflows into the reservoir, making good news for Lake Hartwell users. Though the rains continue to benefit the reservoirs with runoff, the Corps expects to start the main summer recreation season at levels similar to last year. In 2012, both the Hartwell and Thurmond reservoirs entered Memorial Day more than 8 feet below full summer pool. A slight betterment for this Memorial Day is expected, unless more rain falls than predicted by forecasters and climatologists. Starting the summer low will likely mean the reservoir levels will track a similar path as last summer. Basin stakeholders need be ready, according to Billy Birdwell of the Army Corps’ communications office.