Numerous boat ramp closings, caution advised
By David Jenkins
This time a year ago Lake Lavon was pretty much dried up; the water level last June was listed at 480.56, which was the highest level for the lake since Sept. 4, 2103..
However, Stage 4 water restrictions were still initiated.
A year later, Lavon, which spans 21,400 acres, has filled up quite nicely over the last few months, as it has actually reached capacity.
The result of that is the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has been releasing water.
The current elevation is 503.45, with is 11.45 feet over the normal elevation of 492 feet.
It reached that level, with an elevation of 492.05, back on April 25.
Once it reached the max, the Corps began releasing 1,100 cubic feet per second in accordance with the its water control plans.
Other lakes from around the area that have reached capacity are Ray Hubbard (436.73), Tawakoni (438.84), Texoma (645.71), Ray Roberts (644.02), Grapevine (561.55), Lewisville (536.58), Bonham (565.60) and Arlington (552.86).
Accumulated rains forced the Corps decision to open the floodgates at the dam, something that hasn’t happened since April 2012. When it is released, the water flows into Lake Ray Hubbard to help fill that lake.
Denise Hickey of the North Texas Municipal Water District said the Corps of Engineers manages the levels of all the Corps-owned and operated reservoirs based on long-standing flood mitigation procedures.
Meteorologists have said this spring will continue to be a wet one and that summer may also hold hope for easing the drought.
Summer forecast also holds hope for North Texas as fewer days with 90’s and 100-degree temperatures are anticipated.
There is also some negative impact.
Due to the large amount of water, all boats ramps attached to the surrounding parks have been closed due to flood concerns.
Not in operation are East Fork Park, Lavonia Park and Clearlake Park
Parks closed altogether due to flood conditions are Lavonia, Mallard, Ticky Creek, Avalon, Lakeland, Pebble Beach, Caddo and Highland Park.
The only boat ramps that are still in service are at Collin Park Marina.
For further information regarding current conditions, contact the Lake Lavon headquarters at 972-442-3141.
Collin Park offers boat slips, launching points, in addition to a park and a campground.
For more information about those, call 972-442-3567.
Those who do decide to enjoy some water-related activities must remember to stay safe.
The four major causes of drowning are not wearing a life jacket, abuse of alcohol, lack of sufficient swimming skills and hypothermia.
To avoid any of these issues follow these simple rules:
– Learn to swim.
– Never swim alone, swim only in designated areas and watch children at all time. Never leave a child unattended while near the water.
– Wear a lifejacket. Children under 13 are required by law to wear personal flotation devices (PFDs) while on the water in Texas.
– Alcohol and water do not mix. Never consume alcohol while boating or swimming.
– Never rely on toys such as inner tubes and rafts to stay afloat.
– Do not overestimate your ability to swim.
– Never dive into lakes or rivers.
– Boaters should observe all warning signs and buoys. Please use caution when boating in unfamiliar waters.