COLLIN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) - Residents in and around Collin County are being treated to a sight they haven't seen in years. Lake Lavon is so full, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from the lake to reduce flood risks.
The fact that water is flowing out of three gates of the damn at Lake Lavon means the drought is over for the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). The lake draining could continue for days, depending on how much additional water runs off into the lake.
This is the first time in three years that the Army Corps of Engineers has released water from Lake Lavon. Residents living in the area say they simply can't believe it. Homeowner Joe Gilbert said, "It's kind of amazing, because it seems to me it just got full last weekend."
Even Sam and Maxine Parris, who visit the lake twice a year and keep track of its level, say they're stunned. "That's amazing," Sam said. "You know when we were here last year, it was almost bone dry." Looking out on the horizon Maxine said, "I haven't seen the water this high in a long time."
The brimming lake levels are especially hard to believe when you consider that it was just last July when the level at Lake Lavon sat at 480 feet – a record low. Now the lake on the East Fork of the Trinity River is more than full and keeps rising.
The release comes just days before the NTMWD is set to ease water restrictions. While twice a week watering will be allowed again starting Friday, the district insists conservation is still key.
NTMWD Assistant Deputy Director Billy George explained it like this, "We've learned a lot of lessons. We've learned how delicate our water supply can be if we get into a few years of drought and we just have to keep those good habits that we developed."
The big changes have homeowner Joe Gilbert excited about the summer. "Unfortunately, I haven't been able to come out with a boat 'til recently, so this is perfect timing the lake is up and I'm ready to start using it."
Apparently Gilbert isn't he only one excited, Monday afternoon there were a number of people at the lake fishing an enjoying the fact they can actually use the boast dock to get on the lake.
Experts say the state has been talking about shipping excess water to areas that need it, like Mineral Wells -- but that possibility is still talk at this point.
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