As we look around us now, it's hard to imagine that not very long ago we were commiserating about the lack of rain and considering hosting community rain dances! Our area lakes have seen some low levels, but Mother Nature more than made up for the long-withheld wet stuff in December. Over a course of just one weekend, we saw that deluge of water hyacinth, many of the parks and launch ramps closed, and pelicans roosting on the last bit of tin on the tops of day use picnic tables!
While it's been beautiful to see the area resoirvers filled to the brim, this double-edged sword is not without consequence....yes, the birds and other wildlife seem to love it, but if you were one of the fortunate folks who live lakeside and had to watch a few weeks back with bated breath as Lake O' the Pines jumped by leaps and bounds, it wasn't such a thrill. Friends and family in the surrounding areas had this predicament, and this tradeoff is not so nice if it's in YOUR back yard, lapping at YOUR door, or mangling YOUR dock! I'd actually taken some photos on Lake O' the Pines that I wanted to post, but did not because it felt wrong. I know too many people that were either trying to procure sandbags or having to travel alternate routes to get to and from their homes to feel good about doing so.
From data on the Corps of Engineers website, Lake O' the Pines was a high of nearly 242 feet, and is dropping now and at under 240. Current release rate is 3,000 CFS, the maximum, so the Big Cypress Bayou is looking good, too. This is 12 feet above normal winter pool. Lake Wright Patman saw record levels of almost 255 feet, and was a whopping 33 feet above normal!