Rain in the Panhandle helps with water levels

Rain in the Panhandle helps with water levels (Photo by Kendra Hall ABC 7).

Rain has been in the forecast in the Panhandle. ABC 7 Chief Meteorologist, Steve Kersh, says since January 1, Amarillo has had 17.29 inches of rain. The normal amount for this time is around 13 inches. This is helping Lake Meredith's levels.

"The record low is 26 feet back in 2013, so we've come up considerably since that," said Robert Maguire, Lake Meredith Superintendent. "2015 was a great year for moisture and we're just excited about the moisture this year because things are looking very positive. The weather patterns are in our favor right now."

Friday afternoon, the water level at Lake Meredith is at 63 ft. and rain chances Friday night and Saturday morning are high. The Canadian River, which flows into Lake Meredith is at five ft.

"It's better for us because we can provide more water out of the lake and the more lake water we can use, the more ground water we can save," said Chad Pernell, Canadian River Water Authority Deputy General Manger.

The Canadian River Water Authority supplies water to 11 cities in the area. Pernell says the continuous rains have helped with the water levels.

"We're subject to the weather... how much inflow we get, how much evaporation and to a lesser degree how much we pump out of the lake, so it's going to vary from year to year and it just depends on what kind of rainfall we get," said Pernell.

Officials at Lake Meredith say they are excited for the rain.

"People should come out and enjoy the park. It's their park."

He says this is prime time for fishing and boating and there is a good chance that the levels could increase in the next couple days.

"In terms of the lake level, we're still lower than where we'd like to be, but we're not declining and to see the lake come up, it's only been a few inches, but we still have inflow coming in, so that's a good thing and hopefully this will continue," Pernell said.

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