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By: angiest , 1:20 AM GMT on August 15, 2011
This is a repost from my main blog at thextremeweather.com.
I recently had an opportunity to drive over Lake Somerville dam. Lake Somerville is a reservoir formed by the damming of Yegua Creek, which is a tributary of the Brazos River.
Lake Somerville is not a terribly large lake, but it is used to provide flood control for communities downstream (including Somerville, which lies just to the east of the dam), as well as water and recreation. Lake Somerville lies within the CWA for NWS Houston/Galveston, and is one of the reservoirs tracked in their weekly drought information statements. As of August 10th, the lake was reported at 51.8% capacity, and remarked to be dropping fast. I expect the lake level was very close to 50%, or even below, at the time the following pictures were taken. It was recently reported in Houston news that a ring that was lost several years ago in about 5-6 feet of water was recently recovered from one of the new beaches.
The pictures were taken by my wife on her Palm Pre as we drove across the dam. The "beaches" are not supposed to be there, they should all be under water. Unfortunately, we were not able to get pictures of the marina, where it appeared a few boats were already beached.
In this first photo, the vehicle in the sandy area should be under water!
In the next picture, you can see a sandbar sticking well out into the lake.
The next view is looking toward the spillway, the water should be up to the embankment:
In this last view, you are looking at the Corps of Engineers' control structures, including a lake level meter that is high and dry:
From the Corps of Engineers website, here is the reverse view of the last image:
Overall, the lake seems to have dropped by about eight feet so far.
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