Lake Wateree close to reaching flood stage - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Lake Wateree close to reaching flood stage

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At 100 feet, Lake Wateree has reached flood stage and is expected to reach 102 feet by Thursday, which means the next few days could be very long and wet for residents who live along the water.

Mike Halter has been a regular at Lake Wateree since the 1960's and says he can remember the lake flooding twice -- once in the late 90's and again in the early 2000's.

"There hasn't been this kind of issue in five, six, seven years," said Halter.

Halter understands the reasoning behind it and the reality that comes with it. The man-made lake is controlled by flood gates, but sometimes Mother Nature has the final say.

"When you get stuff like wind that will really whip out here that can cause problems, trees down, roof issues, things like that, but typically the water levels are more of a inconvenience at this point because they don't really get they use to," said Halter.

Neighbor Vicki Thomas says the damage is usually pretty manageable. Her dock is almost completely covered in water, but she's thankful her house falls under FEMA regulations, avoiding evacuation.

"The biggest thing is the mess that it leaves behind when it goes down and the damage that high winds can cause to your docks and to your boats and things like that that are left in the water," said Thomas.

Both residents say the benefits of lake life outweigh the negatives. Water levels are expected to drop back down to normal this weekend.

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