Lake Level Impacts

by Brad Hlozek

East Texas Lake Levels have been considerably higher this year than they were last year at this time.

One of the main reasons for the higher Lake Levels is a result of the rain surplus we have been experiencing so far in 2007.

Just yesterday, the Angelina County Airport on the south side of Lufkin reported a rainfall surplus of 3.50."  This is a huge difference from last year in which we were on the opposite end of the spectrum.

At the end of May in 2006, we were undergoing a drought in which our rainfall deficit was 3 inches below normal.

Lake Sam Rayburn, which was a foot below normal last year, is now just under a tenth of a foot below normal today.

Toledo Bend, which was 4 feet below normal last year, is now just a little under a foot below normal.

While most of the Lake Levels are a result of the amount of rain we receive, that does not always turn out to be the case.

The Toledo Bend Reservoir will probably remain below its normal value, no matter how much rain we receive.  Part of the water supply from this reservoir is used as irrigation for Rice Farmers.  Some of it is also used for water resources in cities and communities in both North Texas and Southeast Oklahoma.

In the meantime, with the wet weather expected to continue in the short term, look for most area lakes to remain close to their normal levels.

This is, of course, good news for local businesses who rely on the lakes being busy with boating and fishing activities ongoing.