Rain fills lake, and forces cancellation of National Trails Day activities

Lewisville Lake level shows a rapid rise over the past several days. (Chart courtesy of US Geological Survey)
Lewisville Lake level shows a rapid rise over the past several days. (Chart courtesy of US Geological Survey)

By STEVE SOUTHWELL

In the past 7 days, due to seemingly incessant rainfall, Lewisville Lake has picked up over four feet of water, rising from 523 feet of elevation last Friday to 527.12 feet as of press time Friday night.  Two feet of that increase came over the period of mid-day Thursday to mid-day Friday.

At this level, the lake’s flood pool is 43 percent full, and holds 146,087 acre-feet of water.  The lake’s conservation pool level is 522 feet.  Water storage from 522 feet up to the lake’s 532-foot spillway level constitutes the flood pool, utilized to hold back waters and prevent downstream flooding.  As of press time, the Corps of Engineers was not releasing any water from Lewisville’s flood gates.

Water has risen up over a section of parking lot at Tower Bay Park
Water has risen up over a section of parking lot at Tower Bay Park (Photo by Steve Southwell)

Water continues to rise at a rapid clip, as streams and rivers feed the lake.  Clear Creek is pushing 4,860 cubic feet of water per second.  Little Elm Creek is pushing 2,330 CFS, and Hickory Creek is flowing at 2,130.  If this rate holds, and the flood gates stay shut, then the lake would continue to rise at 1.5 – 2 feet per day.

Over the past week, U.S. Geological Survey data shows about 4.3 inches of rainfall over the Lewisville Lake watershed area.

So far this year, the DFW area had received nearly 19 inches of rain— about 2.5 inches higher than normal.  Weather service records show nine consecutive days of measurable rainfall.  A slow-moving upper-level low pressure area has brought band after band of rainfall through North Texas.

All that rain has the ground in local parks and at LLELA soft and muddy.  With a 40% chance of rain forecast for Saturday, Lewisville officials decided to cancel the planned National Trails Day activities that had been scheduled at LLELA and Toyota of Lewisville Railroad Park.

“While the City enjoys taking part in this annual event, the decision to cancel all activities is being made with safety in mind,” read a city press release received Friday afternoon. “The conditions at LLELA and Toyota of Lewisville Railroad Park are too wet and muddy, and with more rain in the forecast for Friday and Saturday, could pose a danger to guests.”

As The Lewisville Texan Journal reported last week, the city’s two pools, which had been scheduled to open on Memorial Day weekend were not able to be opened, also due to rain.  The city is in-process to get both of those pools repainted, and that requires five rain-free days in a row.

Sandy Beach Road at Lake Park is closed. (Photo by Steve Southwell)
Sandy Beach Road at Lake Park is closed. (Photo by Steve Southwell)

The additional rain and high water no doubt continues to delay the completion of road construction at Lake Park.  Access to Lewisville Fishing Barge is also blocked, since Sandy Beach Road is blocked at Mill Street due to water over the roadway, and Turtle Trail is closed for road construction.  A phone call to the barge was not answered when we tried to call Friday afternoon.

Corps spokesman Randy Cephus said Friday that the rain had delayed work on repairing the 161-foot long embankment slide. The $6.4 million project may now be completed in late summer or early fall. Cephus did note that the dam was still functioning as intended, and that the rain and water level had not caused any further damage to the construction in progress.

“They’re doing daily surveillance and inspections of the dam,” said Cephus. “Because of the increased rains that we’ve been getting, we prefer to ensure that nothing is going on that we don’t know about.”