Lakes Belton and Stillhouse Hollow Nearing Return to Normal Water Levels Thanks to Recent Flooding
Call it the bright spot in an otherwise dismal situation. Both Belton & Stillhouse Lakes have reached pre-drought levels and are mere percentage points away from being full.
Not since flooding a little under a decade ago that closed much of Belton, Stillhouse and many other area lakes have we had normal rainfall levels. To say most of Texas was in a desperate situation due to the drought would be an understatement. The drought has affected everything from livestock to livelihoods to weekend fishing plans. Parts of lakes not seen in Texas since the late 70s emerged.
Texas was/is nowhere near the dire situation in California, but the drought nonetheless brought with it numerous problems that couldn't be solved without what we've seen over the past 30 days in terms of rainfall. It would certainly be great if we could strike a balance to keep us from sliding too far in either direction. We were hit with floods that shut down everything, followed by years of drought that shut down everything, followed now again by floods that have potential to once again shut down everything.
That may be a little overdramatic on my part. Despite the deadly flooding in Texas to our north and to our south, the areas that feed into Belton Lake haven't been once of those areas hit hardest. Travis Lake, for example, is just an hour south in the Austin area. That particular lake has risen 33 feet since the beginning of 2015, including more than 25 feet in just the past 30 days.
For Stillhouse Hollow Lake, the water level sat at less than 2/3 full just three months ago. The lake level now sits at 89% full, and still rising. At 611+ feet, Stillhouse Hollow Lake has risen more than 10 feet in those same three months, with a 7-foot rise in just the past week.
Belton Lake was a depressing 68% full three months ago. It was getting difficult to find enough water to dock the boats at the marina. In the past week, the lake has added another 6-feet and nearly 2,000 surface acres. At 98% full, the lake is busting at the seams and has seen more than a foot-and-a-half rise in elevation in the past 24 hours.