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Local residents relieved after record-setting downpour dramatically raises water levels in lake following drought: 'Makes it a little easier'

"You could definitely tell at the dock the water is up."

"You could definitely tell at the dock the water is up."

Photo Credit: iStock

Heavy storms in Guthrie, Oklahoma, have replenished water supplies in local lakes following a year-long drought.

The deluge of water has helped raise water levels in Lake Guthrie, easing fears of water restrictions and bringing joy to those who like to enjoy the lake in their free time.

According to KOCO News 5, boat ramps had to be closed at the lake in the summer of 2023 because the water had dropped to such a low level. 

"You could definitely tell at the dock the water is up," boater Thad Williams told the outlet. "Makes it a little easier to load and unload the boat."

Guthrie mayor Steven Gentling noted that the storms brought 9 inches of water to Lake Guthrie, while the nearby Lake Liberty also received a boost of 6 inches. While that's still around 5 feet lower than ideal levels, Mayor Gentling said it will ease local residents' fears and ensure the community isn't under considerable strain. 

"We were fortunate that we didn't have to restrict the community," Mayor Gentling observed. "We made them well aware of the challenges, and I think they took the precautions and limited their watering."

If locals were aware that water levels were troublingly low in Lake Guthrie and water restrictions could be forthcoming, they may have avoided watering their monoculture lawns or taken advantage of not-so-thirsty native plants. Native plants can help save 176,000 gallons of water a year.

Other measures could have included switching off the tap while brushing teeth — which can save eight gallons of water each day — or installing a water-saving shower head

But while the heavy rains were good news for the state's lakes and local water supply, the weather conditions have been difficult to deal with for Oklahomans. The storms came after a tornado hit the town of Barnsdall, killing at least one person, per CBS News, making the situation even worse for some residents.  

Extreme weather events such as these are exacerbated by rising global temperatures, making storms and high winds more likely and more intense. That's why reducing pollution is so important. Gases like methane and carbon dioxide produced by dirty-fuel-powered transportation, agriculture, and industry act like a blanket around the earth, trapping heat and causing thermometer readings to rise. 

While the storms helped ease the drought, the dry spell was also likely down to unreasonably high temperatures, so keeping the planet cool can help to regulate these issues instead of creating a boom-and-bust cycle of rainfall — similar to what's been seen in California.

For now, Oklahomans can enjoy the lake again, and their worries about a potential water shortage have been eased.

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