Police scanners went crazy as a massive thunderstorm swept through the area Tuesday, leaving behind an estimated three to five inches of rain and flooding that left motorists hoping they weren’t going to get stuck.
One TV station reported wind gusts of up to 55 mph in Erath County.
Campers in Stephenville City Park had to be moved away from the rising, raging river, and crews had to deal with flooding on streets throughout the city.
Outside Stephenville, Morgan Mill may have been the hardest hit, as water crossed U.S. Highway 281 and children from one home had to be evacuated because of rising water.
In Stephenville, resident “weather watcher” Stuart Chilton said 2.76 inches of rain had been measured as of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
That brought the total rain in Stephenville for the first 26 days of June to 9.03 inches, an amount much higher than the “norm” for June each year of 3.4 inches.
“So we are way above the norm for the month,” Chilton said.
Stephenville’s 31.06 inches thus far in 2007 — and there’s still more than six months to go — is far above the “norm” of 17.40 inches for the first six months of each year, Chilton said.
In fact, Chilton said, the “norm” for the whole year in Stephenville is about 33 inches, and Stephenville only measured 28.43 inches of rain for all of 2006 - and had only 16.07 inches during the first six months of last year.
Although it may seem like a lot of rain now, Chilton said, “Come July and August we might be glad we had this.”
By ANGELIA JOINER
Heavy rains continue to fall and Lake Proctor continues to rise.
Mike McBride, park ranger at Proctor Lake said Tuesday at 12 noon, the water elevation was at 1168.51. Normal pool is 1162.0. That puts the lake 6.51 feet into flood pool, McBride said.
“Since last night’s rain of two inches or more, the elevation at Proctor will be rising for the next several days,” McBride said. “We could see at least two more feet above this present elevation.”
McBride said water is currently being released at a rate of 190 cubic feet per second into the Leon River downstream.
“No increase is expected in the discharge anytime soon,” McBride said.
Elevations at Belton Lake are 13.2 feet about normal and Stillhouse Lake is 17.7 feet above normal.
McBride said the boat ramp at High Point Park is still the only one open and will likely remain the only one open through the July Fourth holiday period.
“It may even have to be closed if we keep rising,” McBride said.
High Point Park was closed several years ago due to it being a free park, McBride said, and the cost of maintenance and the destruction of the park in general was the reason for closing the park.
At the present lake elevation McBride said the water is over the parking lots at the other boat ramps and, “must be back on the concrete ramp portion areas.”
A 10 to 14 day drying period is required for the asphalt parking lots before vehicles can be driven on them, McBride said.
“Otherwise, the parking lots are damaged and very costly to rebuild,” McBride said. “This makes it impossible to expect other ramps to be available by July Fourth.”
About half of all campsites are closed and more may be added to the list in the coming days as water rises.
“Water is either on the sites or the electrical service had to be shut down due to water around the boxes,” McBride said.
Anyone wanting information about camping or the lake should call 254-879-2424.