Whitney, TX

Lake Whitney Rising Water Likely to Crest Soon

Melinda Crow

The high water is finally slowing its rise at Lake Whitney.Photo by Gary Crow

LAKE WHITNEY, TEXAS-- After a steady rise that has stretched since the end of May, the rate of rising is finally beginning to slow, possibly cresting in the next 24 hours. As of 2:00 pm Thursday, the water level was 546.34, or 13.34 feet over normal elevation. Inflow into the lake was still high at more than 38,000 cubic feet per second (CF/S), but gates at the dam were letting out a large portion of that at 25,000 CF/S. The difference between the two is accounted for by both evaporation and spad as the water is able to creep into additional low-lying areas as the level rises.

Graph by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The rate of rise slowed from .04 of a foot per hour in the early morning hours to an average of only .01 of a foot per hour in the afternoon. At that rate, it will take roughly another 96 hours to raise the lake level another foot.

Granbury reducing outflow

Following a week that saw additional rain throughout the Brazos River Basin, releases from the dam at Lake Granbury have been at a level rarely seen. At one point, the dam was releasing over 38,000 CF/S, but the Brazos River Authority, which manages the lake has reduced the flow this afternoon to a more moderate 22,000 CF/S. High water in the river can still impact facilities and property owners along the river for the near future.

Facilities to remain closed

Visitors and residents should not expect recreational facilities to open up this week in spite of the cresting and lower chances of rainfall. The lake is still thirteen feet above normal level and it takes considerable time to lower that-- often much longer than it takes for the rise to happen. Even once facilities like boat ramps, parking lots, campsites, and picnic tables are clear of water, the ground beneath the structures must be allowed time to dry completely before they are used. Lake Whitney State Park estimates it will remain closed through June 30. Even that may be optimistic.

While publicly managed parks and facilities are closed, there are still privately owned facilities in operation. Check with local resorts, lodges, and marinas for lodging and boat launching information.

Bosque County Emergency Management reported the following river levels in the county:

North Bosque River near Clifton measured on 6/10/2021, showing 5.34 ft., down from 6.81 ft. on 6/9, no flooding at this time.

North Bosque River near Valley Mills measured on 6/10/2021, showing 8.96 ft., down from 11.24 ft. on 6/9, no flooding at this time.

Brazos River at Aquilla, below the Whitney Dam, measured on 6/10/2021, showing 22.46 ft., up from 20.71 ft. on 6/9, no flooding at this time.

For more information about the flood control function of Lake Whitney:

The Rise and Fall of One of Texas' Most Important Flood Control Lakes

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Waco, TX

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