Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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November 1, 2013

Rains help local lakes

Corsicana — The three-plus inches of rain Navarro County received this week helped area lakes, so much so that voluntary water restrictions in Corsicana are likely to be lifted.

Rain totals at the Corsicana Municipal Airport reached 3.17 inches on Wednesday, as steady rains that started Tuesday night into Wednesday morning lingered. Levels at Lake Halbert increased almost two feet from a week ago, and Navarro Mills was up about a foot and a quarter, according to information gathered from waterdatafortexas.org, a website that monitors lake levels state wide.

Both are more than 92 percent full now.

“Lake Halbert and Navarro Mills are up significantly,” Corsicana City Manager Connie Standridge said Thursday. “... It’s good, good news.

“We will probably be rescinding our mild drought restrictions,” she said.

Those voluntary restrictions will likely be lifted Monday, she said.

Halbert and Navarro Mills, on paper, fared better than Richland Chambers Reservoir as a result of the recent rains, but the sheer size of Richland Chambers is a big reason why. In terms of storage capacity, Richland-Chambers is almost 22 times bigger than Navarro Mills, and a little more than 180 times larger than Lake Halbert.

On Oct. 12, Richland Chambers reached a record-low 304.74, more than 10 feet below it’s 315-foot normal level. On Friday, it measured 306.11, according to the Tarrant Regional Water District’s Communications Manager Chad Lorance, almost a foot higher than it was a week ago. The TRWD owns Richland-Chambers.

“Hopefully we’ll continue to see that trend continue into the fall and spring, and hopefully get the lake back to normal level,” Lorance said.

According to the site, Richland-Chambers is the lowest percentage-wise to normal lake level of the seven TRWD owns. It is 2.8 percent down. Bridgeport Reservoir is 2.4 percent below normal levels. None of the other five are more than 2 percent down.

In terms of water capacity, Halbert increased more than 16 percent in the last week, from 76.2 percent full to 92.6. Navarro Mills increased almost 12 percent, from 83.5 to 95.2. Richland-Chambers saw just a 3.1 percent increase, from 64.4 to 67.5.

“The rains a few weeks ago saturated the soil,” Standridge said. “This (week’s) rain ran off, and when that happens, reservoirs get the full impact.”

Lorance agreed.

“We’ve been so far behind on rain the last year and half,” Lorance said, “it’s taken all of the rain we had to basically fill in the cracks. Hopefully, we’ll see some runoff from creeks and tanks help the lakes.”

—————

Raymond Linex II may be reached by email at rlinex@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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