Trouble Not Over For Lone Chimney Lake, Despite Rain, Snow

Thursday, February 28th 2013, 6:13 pm
By: Craig Day

Rain and snow in Green Country has helped to put a little more water in area ponds and is improving the situation at some area lakes, but there's still a long way to go before we're anywhere close to pre-drought conditions.

When workers at Lone Chimney Water Association saw rain and a little bit of snow, they also saw a little bit of hope.

Their hope was that runoff would make it into the lake and buy more time before there's not enough water to serve their 16,000 customers in several nearby towns and water districts.

"We're desperate. We need a lot more. That rain was just a tease," said Lone Chimney Supervisor JJ Doley.

The rain may have been a tease, but it did help some. The estimated two inches of runoff added to the 563-acre lake may not sound like much, but every bit helps when the water level is below one intake and nearly below another.

"It all depends on where that water intake level is," Doley said.

The extra couple of inches, plus conservation efforts by customers who have cut water usage in half, will make some difference.

Doley said that conservation needs to continue and more rain needs to come.

"Mother Nature can play with us, or she can be against us," he said.

2/8/2013 Related Story: Lack Of Rain Leaving Oklahoma Lakes Far Below Normal Levels

Since our last update nearly three weeks ago, Tenkiller, Eufaula, Oologah and Hulah Lakes have each gained a foot of water.

Keystone Lake has gained two feet.

Back at Lone Chimney, crews are eight miles into a 12-mile project to connect to Stillwater's water system, but the same weather that brought much needed moisture, also slowed construction for a few days.

"As muddy as it gets on these county roads and stuff, and the cave ins, it shut them down for about two to three days, but they're starting to pick back up again," Doley said.

They're making good progress, but it will still be at least early summer until it's finished. Until then, they're praying for more than just rain.

"I pray for gushers, flash floods," Doley said.

Despite the rain and snow, conditions didn't change, at all, at Skiatook Lake, which has a small watershed.

The lake is still 13 feet below normal.