Rain increases lake levels

February 27, 2008 5:25:04 PM PST
As Drought 2008 limits water use, lake levels are on the rise.

Water levels at Falls Lake have risen over the last two months, since the reservoir hit an all time low on Christmas.

Rains have caused Raleigh's water levels to rise more than two feet.

Gary Snyder, a dedicated fisherman, says he has seen water come and go in Falls Lake.

"I think it's slowly filling back in," Snyder said. "I think it's gradually starting to fill back in a little bit."

The Triangle has bounced between exceptional and extreme drought as rain levels in Raleigh have reached about 80 percent of normal.

"We're hopefully seeing a pattern in which we are starting to get rain that happens at least once a week. And what that's done is basically stabilize the lake level," Ed Buchan, a water specialist with the public-utilities department said.

But Raleigh leaders remain very concerned. Falls Lake has less than 35 percent of its normal water supply leading into warmer months.

The current water supply is expected to last until June 25 ?if there is no more rain.

"If you do get lucky and get some freakish rain event --5-6 inches-- then it's full," Buchan said.

Snyder says he does not need a full lake to fish. But more rain would mean fewer boats would get stuck in shallow water.

"I've pulled a lot of people off," Snyder said. "I've nicknamed my boat the SeaPro tow service."


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