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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

Nov. 9, 2011

No flooding of Hickory Top (Greentree Reservoir) WMA due to drought

As a consequence of the low lake levels in the Santee Cooper system, water is not available to pump and flood Hickory Top (Greentree Reservoir or GTR) Waterfowl Management Areas. 

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), as a management requirement of the GTR, is not required to flood the area more than three consecutive years following a least one dry year. Since a dry year occurred in 2008, DNR had plans to have a dry year 2012-13. DNR staff now plans to take advantage of the current lake conditions and make this a dry year. Considerations are being made to help prevent this scenario in the future.

The combination of limited rainfall events and drought like conditions has adversely impacted lake levels in the Lowcountry. In a recently published article, Hope Mizzell, state climatologist, states, "The Midlands and the Upstate had the driest July to September stretch since records were kept in 1948 and the year so far is the third-driest ever." As of September 27, 2011, Lake Marion was down 4.60 feet from full pool while reports indicate that Lake Moultrie is down more than 5 feet. These lake levels have not been observed since the early 1950s. 

For more information, please contact DNR in Columbia at (803) 734-3886.

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