Mary and John Ford have been watching as Lake Worth slowly creeps toward their back door.
On Tuesday afternoon the water was just inches from seeping into the their home.
“It’s right there,” said Mary Ford, looking at the floodwater. “If you take one big giant leap and jump in the water, it would be in the house.”
Around Lake Worth, sheds, hammocks and even lawnmowers were covered in water — but it hadn’t yet reached into houses. Officials were hopeful the water would recede before reaching one of the three homes that officials with the Tarrant Regional Water District are monitoring on the lake.
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“It’s going to be a real squeaker as far as getting into the those homes,” David Marshall, director of engineering and operations support for the water district, said of the Lake Worth homes.
Officials are also keeping an eye Eagle Mountain Lake, which is above capacity as water is released from Lake Bridgeport upstream on the West Fork of the Trinity River. At least six houses on Lake Bridgeport, numerous county roads in Wise County and parts of Bridgeport have also been flooded as a result of the overflowing reservoir.
Managing the release of water from Lake Bridgeport is a delicate balancing act, officials said.
From Bridgeport the water flows to Eagle Mountain before being sent downstream to Lake Worth, which is close to cresting, officials said.
“It’s just a tough choice to make,” Marshall said. “Do you flood every road in Wise County or your do you flood homes on Lake Bridgeport?”
‘It’s just going to miss us’
Until the heavy rains of last weekend, Marshall said they thought they would avoid any major flooding along the Trinity from Bridgeport to Lake Worth.
“We thought we had it covered until 9 inches fell in Wise County, which was more than the reservoir could bear,” Marshall said.
Mary Davis was taking the rising waters at Lake Worth in stride.
She and her husband, John, had emptied out their storage shed and moved everything they could to higher ground.
“We’ve been through floods,” she said. “This is our place and we know our little house is low enough that it can get water in it. That’s just part of living on the lake.”
At Eagle Mountain Lake, Loyd Hancock was checking on a neighbor’s home that is believed to be the lowest on the lake.
The home was just inches from being flooded as the lake continued to rise Tuesday.
“I think we’re going to be OK,” Hancock said. “It’s just going to miss us.”
Part of the driveway was underwater and ducks were swimming close to the garage door.
“I think it will stay out of his house but he might get water in his garage,” Hancock said.
Corps lakes still flowing
Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers, which operates five Dallas-Fort Worth area lakes — Lewisville, Ray Roberts, Grapevine, Joe Pool and Lavon — were continuing to release water.
Many areas have flooded on those lakes, which are designed to hold excess water, even while being above capacity.
At Lake Grapevine, parks and roads around the lake have been closed indefinitely, including the Grapevine Golf Course.
Clay Church, a spokesman for the corps’ Fort Worth District, said the lakes are designed to reduce the flood risk downstream and will hold back water to minimize those problems.
“We'll continue to draw down those pools but it will take time,” Church said. “You'll see flows through the Trinity, especially in Dallas for a good couple of months.”
Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698
Keeping it cool
▪ The steady storms and saturated ground have helped keep temperatures down in North Texas, which has yet to hit 90 degrees this year.
▪ June 2 ranks No. 6 for the latest day on which 90 degrees has not been reached at D/FW Airport, the official recording station for the National Weather Service.