By THOMAS P. WEAVER, HORIZON Editor
DALE HOLLOW-Residents and visitors hoping to enjoy a long Fourth of July weekend here on the lake were met with monsoon conditions thanks to nearly six inches of rain falling over the four-day stretch swelling rivers and creeks, raising lake levels, and washing out what is normally the season’s busiest holiday of the year.
The weather station at the HORIZON office in Celina recorded a total of 5.89 inches of rain since it began to fall late on July 3 (.40”)–a total including 3.24 inches that came on Independence Day, Thursday, July 4.
Boaters did take to the lake Friday (.42”) for a few hours between showers and some held over to enjoy Sunday’s sunshine, but Saturday mirrored the holiday with another 1.83 inches of the wet stuff.
Fireworks shows were postponed Thursday and visitors huddled in their accommodations rather than enjoying a day on the water as they watched lake levels rise.
Dale Hollow’s elevation had ballooned a full three feet as of HORIZON press time, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had begun generation operations to initiate a slow drawdown back to normal levels as of Monday.
The lake’s normal summer pool is 651 feet above sea level (FASL) and the peak of the rise was at 653.6 FASL–which was significantly up from a steady 650.6 FASL seen most of the month of June.
Similar high levels are somewhat standard in the spring, but are rarely seen in the middle of the summer and historical data from the Corps website dating back to the mid-1980’s shows the level hadn’t been reached in July over the last 25 years.
The holiday normally signifies the beginning of the summer drawdown, which has historically kept July levels below summer pool–a mark that may not be seen here for some time, according to the Corps.
Projections provided to marinas and others affected by the high levels show the agency planned to evacuate a foot of water by next Monday (July 15), but they did explain the projections were subject to change due to weather and other factors.
The drawdown will be accomplished by running “two or more” generators around the clock, the Corps said.
For more information about local weather and historical data from the HORIZON weather station, visit dalehollowhorizon.com and click on the words “on the square” in the Local Weather Information box in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage.
For more on the Corps, including historical data about Dale Hollow Lake levels, visit their webpage at www.lrn.usace.army.mil. Other info from the local Corps office can be found on their Facebook page at facebook.com/dalehollowlake.