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Local bodies of water are on the rise after collecting high amounts of rainwater

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 19:10:13-04

BELTON, TEXAS — When it rains, it pours in Central Texas and over the past week, that’s been the story.

All of the rain is adding up in our local lakes and rivers. In fact, Belton Lake is over 7 feet above what it usually is.

The Brazos River is high, too. Making some businesses shut their doors until the water levels decline.

“We hire people for seasonal work and one of the biggest struggles is, you bring people on and then you can't operate,” Blake Ward explained.

Ward and his wife own Pura Vida Paddle in Waco. A spot along the Brazos River, where the water levels are dangerously high.

“It's frustrating,” he said when thinking about having to close his doors. “I guess it's one of those things you sign up for when you go into this type of business, but you never expect or never want to see it.”

Water levels are reaching highs across Central Texas.

“Water runs downstream,” Game Warden Captain Scott Jurk said. “It may not have rained at your house, but it may rain two or three miles upstream from you and it'll cause those small streams to come up.”

Jurk explained that each major body of water is controlled by gates to avoid flooding.

The problem this week? Once you open the flood gates and the rivers downstream are also flooded, the water will flood roadways, farms or whatever is in its way.

“Most of our rescues come from people driving through water,” Jurk explained. “If there's moving water over the road, do not drive through it.”

So, until it drys up and the rain ends, Jurk said it’s best to stay safe when driving in or near flooded roadways.

“You just really need to be aware of your surroundings, slow down and know the area very well,” he said.

He explained that it only takes 6 inches of water to wash your car away and that you should never move or drive through barriers as doing so can result in legal penalties.