“Rain, Rain on my face
It hasn’t stopped raining for days
My world is a flood
Slowly I become one with the mud…”
– Jars of Clay –
(Photo of the Lake Meredith Dam & Spillway 2011)
In the Texas Panhandle we have had a drought of a severity not quite rivaling the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s, but at times has felt like it. Last June, we lost an inch of water from Lake Meredith in one day purely from evaporation (resource: CRMWA). The last time it was this dry in the Panhandle region dated back to 1956. Thankfully, Mother Nature has recently sent us a reprieve… rain. Lots of rain. I’ve been “Singing in The Rain” and watching “Rainman” and listening to songs about rain, water and floods… a happy little camper am I.
On April 9th, Lake Meredith’s water level reached it’s all time low at only being 29.80 feet deep. In terms of Meredith, this means the boat docks are closed; there’s no chance of recreational boating, fishing and that type of thing. It also means water is no longer being pumped from the lake for drinking and we are now tapping into the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the largest in the world. (And just for the record, it tastes MUCH better than the water from Meredith.) For some reason, it also means you can walk across areas of the Lake that have been inaccessable by humans for years. It’s a bizarre feeling to say the least. I keep waiting for dead bodies to turn up, but at this time, no such luck.
Because of the recent rainfall, it’s now up to 31.53 feet. To put all this in perspective. In 1973, Meredith’s depth was 101.85 feet deep. I think we have a long way to go to even see the waterline from a distance. Maybe someday, but that day is not today.
The Seattle-like feeling that has settled over the city in the past couple of weeks will be gone again as quickly as tomorrow as the sun pushes its way back through the gray and the weather heats back up. For now, I shall watch the rain fall and give thanks at this moment the land is green and the lake is on the rise.