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Extreme Heat & Drought Taking Toll On Benbrook, Other Local Lakes

By Selena Hernandez, CBS 11 News
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BENBROOK LAKE (CBS 11 NEWS) - The sweltering sun and triple digit temperatures are taking its toll on more than just lawns across North Texas. Area lakes are starting to reflect the effects of extreme drought conditions.

Most lakes in North Texas are currently anywhere between two and six feet below their normal levels. But perhaps the lake most affected by the drought is Benbrook Lake, just southwest of Fort Worth.

From a distance, Benbrook Lake remains a picturesque summer destination for water enthusiasts. Yet, a closer look reveals, a lake that’s slowly sinking under oppressive summer conditions.

“This is the lowest it’s been in about four years,” boater Jason Brauss said.

Brauss learned the hard way Friday afternoon that lake levels here are six feet below normal.

“It’s so shallow back there,” Brauss explained of the struggle he endured trying to launch his boat.

“I had my trailer at an angle and the tires were completely off the boat ramp. It’s just mud – if I had gone farther, it would’ve sunk my boat.”

No water means no business for the marina.

“It shuts us down.  We don’t have revenue,” marina employee Don Long said.

Boat slips sit empty and workers are worried, knowing the only solution to this drought is rain.

“Wait for rain to pump it back up, is all we can do,” Long said.

Benbrook Lake is a reservoir and supplies water for the majority of Tarrant County cities. The Army Corps of Engineers operates the lake and says despite the low levels, our local lakes are still better off than most lakes across the state.

Even so, Long says about seven boat ramps at Benbrook have all shut down because the levels are simply too low.

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