Improvements coming to Lakes Thurmond and Hartwell parks - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Improvements coming to Lakes Thurmond and Hartwell parks

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LAKE THURMOND (WFXG) -

Upgrades are happening to parks all around Lakes Thurmond and Hartwell. Some improvements are things the public will notice and others will go toward keeping the lakes fit for recreation, for years to come.

"As part of the licensing program for the Duke power company, they had to hold more water to cool their nuclear reactors. Part of a compliance program for them. It means it's going to impact the lake level elevation for both Hartwell and Strom Thurmond,” said Chief Park Ranger Kevin Madsen with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In exchange for holding more water at its plant Duke Energy is spending millions of dollars to upgrade parks at both lakes.

"This work that's being done is going to prevent thousands, if not millions of dollars, worth of damage that could possibly happen in the future,” Madsen said.

Around Lake Thurmond a handful of the parking lots are looking brand new.

Madsen explained, "We picked the worst parking lots to receive the treatment of sealing the cracks and resurfacing."
 
The one at Dordon Creek is even being extended an extra 10 feet to fit bigger boats. But you might also notice the new rocks lining all 26 of Lake Thurmond's boat ramps. This helps prevent erosion.

"The public seems to really enjoy the improvements, they appreciate the work that's being done. This lake is their favorite, and they've been coming up here for years with their families,” Madsen said.
 
The changes should all be complete in just a few months. Park Rangers say the low water level at the lake now is due to the 2 year drought. Duke Energy's deal may only affect an inch or two inches and will probably go unnoticed.

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