Rising Saluda River Will Present Danger 2009: Anyone Planning

Rising Saluda River will present danger

Anyone planning to sun on the rocks or take a leisurely canoe trip on the Saluda River in the next week might want to
reconsider. SCE&G plans high water releases from the Lake Murray dam into the Saluda for a charity rafting event on Saturday and for swift water rescue training Monday through May 15. The water level on the river will be in the red range, meaning the Saluda will be high and fast enough to be deadly for swimmers and all but the most experienced of boaters. The company each year releases extra water the Saturday before Mother’s Day for Raft-a-Rama, a fundraiser for Canoeing For Kids. The Columbia Fire Department conducts its swift water rescue training at various times when SCE&G guarantees high water levels. In recent drought years, these water releases have drawn criticism from Lake Murray leaders concerned about sinking lake levels. But rain this spring has filled the lake. “We’re fine with (the releases),” said Dave Landis, president of the Lake Murray Association. “The lake is way up.” In fact, the water is in yards in some coves, where homeowners will appreciate a slight drawdown over the next week, he said.
The releases begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and 5:30 a.m. on weekdays next week, according to SCE&G. The water takes a while to reach the popular gathering spots around Riverbanks Zoo, but the river should be extremely high in those areas by noon Saturday and mid-morning next week.

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