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Weekend Rain Does Little For Parched Land & Lakes

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The weekend rain was a welcomed relief for many in North Texas. While it may have brought a lot of smiles, Saturday’s shower didn’t bring much help to the area, parched by one of the worst droughts on record.

At Benbrook Lake, in southwest Tarrant County, coves once covered with water are now covered with large cracks. The ground has become so dry the earth is literally splitting.

The marina and a handful of boats at the dock now sit in mud. “The ramp has been closed about three weeks now,” explained marina manager Don Long. “‘Cause we didn’t have enough water to float a boat.”

Every ramp at the lake is closed for the same reason.

And no water means no business for the marina. “It hurts everybody, hurts us, business in Benbrook, other bait shops, it hurts them,” said Long.

After the weekend rainfall Jack Edward was optimistic about lake levels, but his enthusiasm was soon doused. “It’s worse now than it was when I came out here a week and a half ago,” he said. “I was hoping we’d get some decent rain, [it was] enough to wet some lawns, but that’s about it.”

The rain was just a ‘drop in the bucket’ compared to what Benbrook Lake needs to come back. “The Weather Service says it takes about 15 inches to get us out of the drought,” explained David Marshall, Engineering Service Director for the Tarrant Regional Water District. “Lakes are just going down and down, usually Mother Nature provides a little bit of help, but this year has just been a very dry year.”
Area lakes are losing about a half-inch of water a day to evaporation. In fact, lake levels were lower Monday than they were before Saturday’s showers, because of that evaporation and consumption.

Marshall said the rain did help one thing. “Folks turned their sprinklers off,” he said. “So, we saved about 180 million gallons [of water] in the last two days.”

The limited amount of rainfall means no change in current water restrictions issued by a number of North Texas municipalities.

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