Santee Cooper spilling 150,000 gallons of water per second - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Santee Cooper spilling 150,000 gallons of water per second

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Heavy rain across South Carolina, and specifically in the upstate area has caused Santee Cooper to begin spilling operations on Lake Marion.

On Tuesday, they began spilling 75,000 gallons of water per second. On Wednesday, that is increasing to 150,000 gallons per second.

Santee Cooper spokesman Willard Strong said, "usually we don't it that often. The last time we spilled was several years ago."

The lake level is fairly high right now. Santee Cooper needs to keep it at around that level, so they are spilling water to keep levels about the same as new water flows into the lakes.

The water flows out of the spill at the Santee Dam into the Santee River on the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

Just a few years ago, lake levels were extremely low, "You know, when the lake levels got so low, you had submerged objects and stumps… that were hazardous to navigation."

Strong says the higher lake levels can be good for small businesses, "A lot of the marinas and fish camps around the lakes, they like this level, because people can launch their boats at their facilities… it's gonna be a great summer."

Santee Cooper operates an updated toll-free number you can call to get the current lake levels anytime. Just call 1-800-92-LAKES.

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