- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Richland County emergency officials say the flood gates may have to be opened at Lake Murray because of heavy rains upstream the past few days.

The county Emergency Services Department sent out a message warning residents downstream of the possibility Thursday morning. The gates were opened in October during the heavy rains, flooding hundreds of homes.

South Carolina Electric & Gas operates the Lake Murray dam. The utility says it will give three hours warning before opening the gates, and hasn’t decided whether to do so yet.

SCE&G; likes to keep Lake Murray below full pool at 360 feet. U.S. Geological Survey data showed Thursday morning’s lake level at 358.3 feet, rising more than 2 feet since Tuesday. The utility says it thinks the lake should stay below 360 feet.

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