Could heavy rains signal end to North Texas drought?

Print
Email
|

by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on January 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 26 at 11:42 AM

Fort Worth – It has been a long time since the Trinity River has surged over the spillway near downtown Fort Worth.


Brad Williams had to see it to believe it. He brought his camera to document the evidence.

"I've never seen it look like this," said Williams. "I've only been here for two years, and this is the highest I've seen it."

Lake levels in Tarrant County spiked suddenly overnight, according to data being gathered by the Tarrant Regional Water District. Most lakes rose a foot, or more, overnight.

"Lake Arlington has come up almost 4 feet or so," said Chad Lorance of the TRWD. "And that's mostly because of the urban run-off and the concrete in that area. But we're seeing good rise in our lakes."

But, declaring an end to the drought depends on more than lakes. Ground water levels, rainfall patterns, and soil moisture may all contribute.

"Obviously we're still in stage one of our drought plan," Lorance said. "And this helps us inch closer to coming out of that. But we're not there yet. We probably need one or two more big rainfall events to get us out of that and get us in good position for the summer."

The Tarrant Regional Water District tracks lake levels, updating them on their website every 15 minutes.

Lake levels are expected to rise more in the next couple of days as streams and ponds drain into bigger water supplies.

Despite heavy rains, most of the lake levels in Tarrant County are still below normal. As of midday Wednesday, Lake Bridgeport was down more than 10-feet.

Even though water experts won't say the drought is over, they do say it is safe to turn off the sprinklers for awhile.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|