It was 10 years ago in 2008 when we had a major drought and the lake was down over 23 feet. The lake had dropped so much that it was no longer possible to ramp launch or haul out. Most boats that were in slips had to be moved out to make shift mooring fields that were outside the club breakwater. B dock was completely laying on the hard.
At the time, we had no idea how long the drought would last. The forecasts at the time were scary...no rain and some projections had the lake as a dead pool where Lake Hartwell would be below the output levels at the damn. Lake Keowee was not letting any water out to Hartwell as they were protecting the input levels for the Nuclear plant. We came up with a drastic plan to rent a crane...a very large crane. If I remember correctly it was a 250 ton crane and it was needed to be able to reach out 200 feet and pick up 15,000 pound boats.
On December 10th, 25 members shared the cost of $3200 for a one day crane rental and had their boats lifted out of the harbor and put on trailers or jack stands. We had quite a few members at the club organizing the on water mast drops at the launch ramp and then moving boats over to the crane haul out area.
It all went well...and as luck would have it, on December 10th, the day of the haul out, it started raining and by March the lake was up to only 15 feet down or so.
I took a lot of pictures that day to document the haul out. I wanted to share them as a reminder of how ugly our lake is at 23 feet down. It's pretty wild to see the pictures and how far down 23 feet looks.
Check out the pictures here.