Savannah River water levels low after Lock and Dam break

Savannah River water levels low after Lock and Dam break

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - If you've been out to the Savannah River lately you may have noticed water levels are a lot lower than usual. That's because the New Savannah Lock and Dam has been damaged.

Robert Sheffer has lived on the river for nine years and says this is the lowest he's ever seen the water.

"We've been here since 2005, and this is about as low as I've seen the water levels since," he says.

Water levels have dropped drastically over the past few days, and Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus says workers from the Corp of Engineers are investigating damage to the New Savannah Lock and Dam.

"The downstream wall of the lock was burroughed up so badly, that they had to immediately close the locks. They no longer are operational. Right now they've brought the river down because they have some divers out that are doing additional studies of the damage of the Lock and Dam," she says. 

Sheffer says he noticed the water levels started to drop a few days ago but he didn't expect it to drop this much.

"The water line is about, about 30 feet out further out than it normally is," Sheffer says.

He just hopes the water levels come back up so he can take his boat out and enjoy the weather.

"I haven't had it out yet this year, and I was looking forward to getting out in it and riding around," he says.

Both Bonitatibus and Sheffer have some tips in case people want to take their boats out on the river this weekend

"Be aware of these walls and these snags that exist out here and please take it slow. It's better that you're a little bit slower and cautious and don't end up ripping the transom off your boat," says Bonitatibus.

"Just be very careful and try and stay in the channel where it's still deep," says Sheffer.

Bonitatibus says divers are supposed to finish up examining the damage tomorrow and water levels should start to rise again by this weekend.

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