Lake levels are high, parks are closed and the water’s still rising
Area lake levels are high, most lakeside parks in Central Texas are closed because of flooding, and the water is still rising.
On Wednesday Lake Whitney was 22 feet above normal, Lake Waco was 16 feet above normal, Lake Belton was 11 feet above normal, Stillhouse Hollow Lake was 8 feet above normal and Lake Aquilla was almost 11 feet above normal and more rain is expected later this week.
Rain chances are low through the remainder of the workweek, but on Saturday the forecast calls for thunderstorm and showers with locally heavy rainfall.
Another round of showers is possible early next week.
“We are a flood control lake and flood control is our primary mission,” Lake Waco Park Ranger Courtney Heuring said.
“So when it rains we hold the water in the lake to prevent downstream flooding which in turn floods our own property, so when we make releases they are calculated to prevent the flooding downstream,” Heuring said.
The high water could put a damper on Memorial Day plans.
At Lake Waco only Bosque Park and The Waco Dam access point were fully open on Wednesday.
Midway and Reynolds Creek Park are partially open.
At Lake Aquilla only the Outlet Works and Fishing Platform are open.
At Lake Belton the only parks that are fully open are Belton Lakeview, Miller Springs, Overlook, and White Flint.
Arrowhead Point, Cedar Ridge, Iron Bridge, Leona, Live Oak Ridge, Owl Creek, Rogers and Westcliff Park are partially open.
At Stillhouse Hollow Lake only the Chalk Ridge Falls Nature Area, Overlook Park and Rivers Bend Park are fully open.
At Lake Whitney, only Riverside Park is open.
Officials believe it will be several weeks until the water begins to recede and they can begin the cleanup process to reopen the parks.
“We get a lot of debris at Lake Waco flowing downstream from the North Bosque River so we end up with a lot of debris in our property,” Heuring said.