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Lake Murray residents finding interesting items during lake draw down

Chapin residents say they've found safes, arrowheads, unique fish, laptops and more.

CHAPIN, S.C. — Lake Murray residents are used to lower lake levels every few years, but some locals haven't experienced one quite like this before.

"This is way beyond what it usually is," Luan Lam a Chapin resident said.

In October, Dominion Energy tells News 19 they lowered water levels of the lake to kill harmful vegetation and bacteria. 

Lam explains that since Christmas Day, there's been only a few pools of water in his cove. 

Lam says that it feels surreal walking on what used to be water. He's lived in Chapin for the past three years. He explains it's weird, but cool to see what's underneath.

"It's fascinating to see all the downed timber and I look out the window now and I'm used to seeing nice calm water and it looks like a desert plain or something," Lam said.

He borrowed waders from his neighbor to walk out on the surface of the lake to collect pieces of his exploded irrigation pipe after the cold snap last week. 

"It was fun to watch the herons. Because the water was so low, it was trapping the pools of fish, so they had easy pickings. You'd see them just walking across here, which is strange enough and they were just having a field day getting all the fish," Lam said.

With typically five to seven feet of water in this cove, Lam says during past draw downs, he usually sees about a foot or two of water.

Linda Ott, another Chapin resident living on the lake explains she remembers the lake being lowest back when SCE&G was repairing the dam. 

"You could walk all the way over to that man's dock way over there and not even touch water," Ott said. "I think it's got a lot of advantages. I think a lot of people like that because they don't realize what's in front of them until they see the water down."

Those advantages include time to repair docks, clean up debris and litter and weed whacking. 

Billy Harr, another Lake Murray resident says he's formed a collection of items from the draw downs. 

He has a fish he explains looks like a piranha. He found it on the shoreline years ago. He also has several arrowheads from all parts of the lake.

According to Dominion Energy, the lake water is expected to raise to normal levels by spring of this year with rain and river flows feeding back into the lake.

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