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Area Lakes Need More Rainfall

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Thursday’s heavy rains across parts of North Texas put at least a small dent in our years-long drought. For homeowners, the rain was life-giving sustenance for new growth.

But anyone who thinks the years-long drought is ending needs to think again.

“The biggest problem is we need Biblical rain right now, said Peter Morris, general manager for Sustex, which operates two marinas on Lake Ray Hubbard. It’s the biggest of the reservoirs feeding water to Dallas and twenty other municipalities. The level was 9-inches more after Thursday’s storms. But many boats are literally high and dry.

“It absolutely surprised all of us, but it’s well-needed; we need a lot of rain.”

City officials said lakes in the Dallas system got 14-billion gallons of water yesterday, enough to satisfy homeowners and businesses for about a month.

It received more rain than two other major North Texas water systems, but still is nearly 30 percent depleted, and that’s a hardship for pleasure boaters.

“We got some rain, we’re dredging right now,” said Morris, “but we need about five days in a row of what we got yesterday in order for this lake to come back.”

A look at rainfall totals from Thursday shows much more fell into watersheds feeding the eastern half of North Texas. The Tarrant Regional Water District reports little rain west of Fort Worth but an inch-and-a half in East Texas Reservoirs.  The North Texas Municipal Water district reports a third of an inch at Lake Lavon and 8-tenths at Jim Chapman. Not much of a dent… for anyone depending on the lakes. “Without a lot of rain,” Morris said, “we may turn this (marina) into an RV park.”

The operators of the region’s three water systems all say we need several more inches of rain to really see a difference.

That would allow the water to run off and bring lake levels up more significantly.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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