Lake Somerville

By: angiest , 1:20 AM GMT on August 15, 2011

Share this Blog
2
+

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.

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 7 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

7. 1900hurricane
7:19 PM GMT on March 25, 2013
I've got recent pictures of Lake Travis's low water somewhere. I'll have to see if I can dig them up and post those. That lake really needs some water.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11670
6. RMCF
4:03 PM GMT on August 20, 2011
They are supposed to be droping 1.5 feet per week from conroe soon. To help the Houston shortage.
Member Since: January 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 25
5. MTWX
9:12 PM GMT on August 15, 2011
Thanks again for an update on some of the Texas water levels!! My latest blog update was regarding the recent rains in Texas. Really hope you guys get some sustainable moisture here soon!
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1393
4. angiest
4:43 PM GMT on August 15, 2011

Quoting AussieStorm:
Oh wow, Amazing pics. They seem all to familiar. Many dams here in NSW, Australia were looking like that and even worse. Some dams were at 5%. Now most dams are at 75% and above due to La Nina. I am guessing you need a strong El Nino to fill all your dams back to 75%. I wish you many day's of light good soaking rain.
I was looking around the Army Corps of Engineers' website last night (they build and maintain most of the reservoirs), there are some in a different basin that are below 5%.  One rather large reservoir in the eastern part of the state is at 24%, which I found quite surprising.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
3. AussieStorm
4:23 PM GMT on August 15, 2011
Oh wow, Amazing pics. They seem all to familiar. Many dams here in NSW, Australia were looking like that and even worse. Some dams were at 5%. Now most dams are at 75% and above due to La Nina. I am guessing you need a strong El Nino to fill all your dams back to 75%. I wish you many day's of light good soaking rain.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15940
2. angiest
1:57 AM GMT on August 15, 2011

Quoting aquak9:
Thank you for the pics, and story. I have wondered why I have not heard of Texas having water problems, but it seems as though in the past coupla weeks, some chatter is making it to the media.

I have a hard time imagining, how there might be any way for that water to ever be replaced. Not meaning to sound doom and gloom, esp after the flooding of the Miss this year.

I hope you will keep this blog updated as you can.

Thanks- aqua
I think most of the reservoirs (with the very noticeable exception of Lake Meredith (setting new record lows everytime they measure it, and approaching the minimal design level for water pumping) in Texas have been pretty full due to a number of years of average or above average rainfall (we have been hit by numerous tropical cyclones over the last decade, for instance, and then the huge ones like Alex that didn't hit near us).  But if the rains don't return soon, things may get dire soon.  There are lots of voluntary conservation areas throughout SE Texas, and an increasing number of mandatory ones.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
1. aquak9
1:40 AM GMT on August 15, 2011
Thank you for the pics, and story. I have wondered why I have not heard of Texas having water problems, but it seems as though in the past coupla weeks, some chatter is making it to the media.

I have a hard time imagining, how there might be any way for that water to ever be replaced. Not meaning to sound doom and gloom, esp after the flooding of the Miss this year.

I hope you will keep this blog updated as you can.

Thanks- aqua
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 169 Comments: 26121

Viewing: 7 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

Top of Page

About angiest

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
72 °F
Mostly Cloudy