PAYNE COUNTY, Oklahoma - Recent rain has helped avert a crisis for the thousands of customers served by the Lone Chimney Water District.

They've been just days away from running out of water.

Monday's rain clouds were a welcome sight for folks at the Lone Chimney Water Association, who have been in a race against time to keep tens of thousands of customers from losing water service.

Over the past few days, Lone Chimney Lake has gotten some rain, but it's still only about half of what areas less than ten miles away have received.

"It seems like it takes this area and splits and just goes around," said Mike Bales, with the Lone Chimney Water Association.

Still, the lake has had enough rain and runoff in the past two weeks to rise three feet. And it's a good thing. Although the lake is still nine feet below normal, at least one water intake is now under water and on another intake, only a few inches are above the water line.

That's bought the water association more time, as a back-up water line to Stillwater is built.

"We're pretty confident now that, with this last rain that we've had, we will get through," Bales said.

When we came out in February, the lake was 12 feet below normal and the situation was more urgent.

In only a matter of days, there wouldn't have been enough water for people in four counties.

"Been praying for rain for a long time," Bales said.

About 85 percent of the 12-mile pipeline project to Stillwater is finished. They should complete the project, giving Lone Chimney another water source other than the lake, without running out of water, because of the recent rain, and because customers cut water use by 30 percent.

"It was a big help. If demand stayed up, our lake would have been dry already," Bales said.

The pipeline should be finished in about six weeks.

Even though the water level at the lake has gone up at Lone Chimney Lake, the water association is still asking people to conserve water until that pipeline project is finished.