Much of the rain that fell over the Highland Lakes watershed over the weekend was soaked into the dry soil, but what did make it into the lakes is making a difference. This rain effect may not have caused an immediate rebound on the Highland Lakes but it does represent a promise of things to come.
The storm water runoff into Lake Travis started to taper off by Sunday afternoon. The current - down the Colorado River - was strong near pace Bend Park where additional water poured out of the Pedernales River. It was a dramatic sight - although the inflow is only expected to increase the water level by about a foot or two over the next few days. For those living along the Northshore - like Willard and Sandy White - it's a welcome sight.
"You get a little more boat activity and stuff out there on the lake now, when it was down 50' you didn’t see any boats out there, but there are boats out there now,” said Willard White.
The couple has their Lago Vista home up- for sale. It’s more marketable now -- because the view from their front porch is much different from what it’s been the last few years.
"It’s just gorgeous Lago will be thriving again too really, really, be thriving,” said Sandy White.
A wet spring essentially helped stabilized the highland lakes through another dry summer. As a result Lake Travis is 2 feet higher than its October average. According to LCRA Lake Travis is currently 77% full. Lake Buchanan is a little less at 68%. The combined storage for both lakes is at 73%
More water is expected to come -- because of the El Niño effect. In a statement sent to FOX 7 Executive Vice President for Water - John Hoffmann said;
"The soil is now saturated, so we should be in good shape to receive greater inflows into the lakes from streams and tributaries from rain over the next few weeks. The forecast for more rain from El Niño this year is promising, but nothing is guaranteed."
It is enough to force boat owners to continue to make adjustments to their docks - as well as chase a few down that have broken away. Not that long ago many along Lake Travis were very much high and dry. While the hope is form more rain events like this one, allowing for a gradual rise of the Lakes. There is also the understanding storms in the past have sat on top of the lakes causing major flooding events.