Savannah River levels steadily rising

EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - The Savannah River has been slowly rising, and that upward trend is expected to continue through this week.

The National Weather Service has the river measured at 14.49 feet. However, flood stage is 11 feet and moderate flood stage is 15 feet.

According to the NWS, within the last 10 years, the highest river crest was a little over 18 feet. Those who live on the South Carolina side are seeing Tom Goethe Road covered with water, which Jasper County EMA says residents in that area are familiar with. However, that's not the case on the Georgia side.

We spoke with Effingham EMA who says they're not too worried about anything serious happening.

"We believe it's going to crest somewhere around 14.9 which is still in minor flood stage. Really, no issues to speak of. It was close to 18 feet a couple of years ago," said Clinton Hodges, Effingham EMA Director.

It's not stopping people from enjoying the river, as quite a few people have been headed out on the river from the Tuckasee King boat ramp.

"This is way higher than normal. I mean, it's a good bit," said Dillen Pollett.

"Anytime the river is up, you're going to have some additional challenges and your currents are going to be stronger, but that's the big thing is just the currents are going to be a little bit stronger and people have to pay attention."

That's the mindset for some boaters on the Savannah River on Thursday.

"As long as you know the river, as long as you exercise the right amount of caution with anything you do. It can definitely be dangerous to people who don't know what's going on with the trees sticking out."

A swollen river does represent minor challenges to the more experienced boaters.

"When the water gets up, all the fish come way up on the banks and it's hard to get to them. They're either deep or in the bushes," said boater, Josh Walker.

If you're thinking about taking an adventure on the river, here's a tip.

"Stay in the middle. Don't get to the sides."

The Effingham EMA expects the Savannah River to crest just below 15 feet.

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