Restaurant at Joe Pool closed as lake floods
To reach the Lynn Creek Marina on Joe Pool Lake guests must catch a ride in a pickup truck to be ferried through the lake waters.
By Wednesday, Joe Pool Lake was more than 7 feet into its flood pool, leaving most of the marina’s parking lots underwater.
The rising waters have forced the closure of the Oasis, a floating restaurant that serves as many as 3,000 people a day on busy weekends. It isn’t flooded but the high water affects the plumbing system, making it impossible to wash dishes and utensils.
For businesses that rely on the summer recreation season for most of their income, another round of storms this weekend is making them nervous. In 2015, many area lakes saw their summer season wiped out by floodwaters.
“I watch the weather three to four times a day just to keep an eye on everything,” said Blake Walker,manager of Lynn Creek Marina. ”We’ve been here for 30 years but the last four years there have been a lot of ups and downs.”
It isn’t just at one lake.
Lake Benbrook is just inches from going over the spillway and will close Lakeside Drive at 7 p.m. Friday.
Lake Grapevine more than 13 feet above normal. Both had lakeside parks and trail closures.
All three of those lakes, which are completely or partially in Tarrant County, are U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoirs designed to hold water to prevent flooding.
“In light of recent heavy rainfalls and saturated conditions, many of the Fort Worth District’s lake projects are operating in flood storage until conditions downstream allow for safe releases,” said Amber Vincent, a spokeswoman for the Corps Fort Worth district.. “With our flood risk management mission in full swing, recreational facilities at some lake projects will be closed or partially closed until they can safely be re-opened.”
Two other Tarrant County lakes, Eagle Mountain and Lake Worth, were slowly dropping on Wednesday but severe storms are expected to return Saturday, bringing another round of heavy rain.
The West Gulf River Forecast Center tweeted Thursday soils are saturated any rain will generate runoff. They expect new river flooding along the Brazos, Trinity, Neches and Sabine rivers later this week.
Many area biking and hiking trails are flooded or too muddy to use.
At Grapevine Lake, all three three trails, including the popular Northshore Trail, are closed and the high water at Joe Pool has strarted to affect the Cedar Hill State Park trail, said Garrick Whitnah, president of the Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association.
If it stops raining and drys out, Whitnah remains hopeful that the Northshore Trail can reopen in six to seven weeks.
The closed trails have bicyclists going farther afield to ride, including Palo Duro Canyon, the Texas Hill Country and Arkansas, Whitnah said.
Here are some of the lake closures at area lakes:
▪ Holiday Day-Use Area and Holiday Campground
▪ Longhorn Park boat ramp
▪ Rocky Creek
▪ Mustang Park, including Bear Creek Campground and West Creek Circle
▪ Murrell Park partially closed.
▪ City of Grapevine Parks
▪ Boat ramps at Meadowmere Lane, Meadowmere Park, and Meadowmere are closed.
▪ Lakeview Park and Katie’s Woods Park are closed. Katie’s Woods high water boat ramp and Farris Branch boat ramps are open.
Joe Pool Lake
▪ Cedar HIll State Park
▪ Boat ramps, swim beach, fishing jetties, duck pond trail and bike trails closed