Lake Worth Rising

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has received 4.27 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. That is a record 24-hour rainfall for the month of January, and it has caused record flooding as well. Lake Worth has been a few feet low all year, but it rose over 2 feet in the last 24 hours and it is still rising. At least the rate of increase in lake level is slowing as it approaches normal.

Lake Worth levels

Lake Worth level data from the U.S. Geological Survey

I was out of town yesterday, recruiting at the Texas A&M Engineering Career Fair, and did not arrive home until late in the evening so while I knew it was raining I did not realize it had been that much and that the lake level was rising.

So it was a bit of  a surprise when I woke up this morning and looked out my back window to see — cormorants! Not just cormorants, but thousands of cormorants.

cormorants

Thousands of cormorants gather on Lake Worth

The picture only shows about half the cormorants that were on the lake. They seemed agitated and were flying in circles and swimming rapidly in random directions.

Then I noticed the lake level. You can see in the picture how the water has risen almost up to the bottom of the boat in its lift and how the jet ski is floating above its ramp. (It’s tied on the front, so it is not going anywhere.) It was still raining pretty hard and obvious that the lake was going to continue to rise so I immediately ran out and raised the boat farther above the water. The boat is not tied to its lift. It uses gravity to stay there, so if the water rose enough to float it off the lift it would drift away.

That taken care of, I left for work. However, I did not want to leave the jet ski tethered and floating loose for too long since it could bang against the ramp supports and get damaged if it started floating completely clear of the ramp. So when I got home today, I put on my wetsuit (glad it still fits!), went in the water, and pushed the jet ski farther up the ramp where it would be more secure.

Wet suit

Wet suits are good for skiing or for just working in the cold water.

The lake temperature is about 51 degrees Farenheit, so the wet suit made being in the water a lot more comfortable. It only took a few minutes to get the jet ski adjusted. Then it was time to come back in the house and take a hot shower.

If the lake continues to rise the jet ski ramp could become completely submerged. I don’t think it will rise enough to do that, but now that lake levels are back to normal I need to move the jet ski ramp closer to shore. That is a multiple-person job. It will have to wait until the water warms up in the spring. In the meantime, the jet ski probably needs to come off the ramp and go on its trailer, safe and dry on shore. Sounds like a good job for this weekend.

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