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Rainfall Brings Up Lake Levels a Bit

Posted October 29, 2007

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— Rainfall across North Carolina brought good news for drought-starved lakes and reservoirs.

Falls Lake, Raleigh's primary reservoir, had been about 8 feet below normal. It rose about 8 inches during last week's rainfall.

“We were out over 100 days, and now we're at 111 days,” Ed Buchan with Raleigh's Department of Public Utilities, said.

Durham's main water source, Lake Michie, had been down 14 feet. It had risen a couple of feet, but not enough for the city to stop pulling water from the Little River Reservoir. City officials said the rain did help slow the drain.

“Even though we had rain, we still need them to cut back and use less water. That will extend our supply and avoid having to go to tighter restrictions,”  James Lin, a Durham water conservation specialist, said.

Levels at Jordan Lake were nearly 6 feet below normal before the rain. The lake, which supplies Cary and Chatham County, gained just over 2 feet.

Rocky Mount's Tar River Reservoir was 15 feet below normal. It rose 12 feet.

In Siler City, in Chatham County, the Rocky River Reservoir rose enough for the city to lift emergency water conservation requirements because it now has a 120-day supply. Mandatory conservation restrictions are still very much in effect, however.

Siler City had been facing a 60-day water supply before last week's rainfall.

In Chapel Hill, water levels at University Lake and the Cane Creek Reservoir had been to 42 percent of capacity, and they are now more than 50 percent full.


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  • djofraleigh Oct 30, 2007

    I don't see how over 6" of rain over a vast area can only raise the lake 8"???? I also noted during 3 visits to the Neuse River that it was high up the banks, and I wondered why so much was being let down river. Well, I was looking below Crabtree Creek, and maybe all the Cary and Raleigh run off below the dam could account for the high river, but now I wonder. I don't have the info to figure it, but I was thinking an inch of rain above the dam in its watershed would be 10" rise in lake level. Where did I go wrong? I was figuring on the land soaking up more than usual. 8 miles below the Falls Dam my 6" rain gauge read full before the rain stopped. The lake itself should have had 6" of water fall right on the water! Shades of China Town!!! Where is the water going?

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Oct 30, 2007

    Yeah, I got all excited at the headline about Hurricane Noel. I wish it could just come our way, dump a bunch of rain on us and move on without causing any property damage or loss of life.

    Pretty sad when we're praying for a hurricane. Maybe we'll have a good snow storm this winter. Keep a good thought.

  • Dominion Oct 30, 2007

    Maybe Noel will push some moisture this way. It's kinda sad when the state could actually use a hurricane!

  • Con Amor Oct 30, 2007

    I know that the rain helped,but all of the lakes and ponds that I have seen,still look dry....Praying for more.

  • yukonjohn3 Oct 30, 2007

    sure wish we could send you a few feet of snow. You will get your rain in due course....it always happens that way. Then it will flood with reckless abandon. Glad you guys got rain, hope you get more soon.,