Fort Worth

Lake Benbrook inches from going over spillway. Here’s the latest on Saturday’s storms

Spring storms have been filling lakes with water and now they’re about to force a road closure near Lake Benbrook.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth District announced Friday that Lakeside Drive, which cross below the spillway will close.

“Lake levels at Benbrook Lake are within inches of engaging the spillway at elevation 710 feet, the Corps said Friday. “Due to anticipated rain over the weekend, the public roadway that crosses the spillway (Lakeside Dr.) will be closed to ensure public safety at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 17 until lake levels allow safe use of the road.”

The Corps said thousands of reservations are being cancelled at parks and campsites due to the safety hazards.

Severe storms are expected to rumble across North Texas and arrive in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by mid-day Saturday — if not a little earlier.

“We think storms will develop west of us overnight and organize into a line,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Fano. “They should arrive in the I-35 corridor mid-morning to early afternoon.”

For Tarrant County, the greatest threats appear to be damaging winds, hail and heavy rainfall.

Just to the south and east the severe threat could be greater.

The Storm Prediction Center has Fort Worth under a slight risk for severe storms (2 on a scale of 5) but Dallas, Garland, Mesquite, Waco, Austin, Tyler and Shreveport are under an enhanced risk (3 on a scale of 5).

“Severe storms are possible over a large area Saturday, from Texas to Iowa, with the greatest threat across central/northeast Texas toward the Arklatex and through western Arkansas, where a few tornadoes along with hail and damaging wind gusts are possible,” the Storm Prediction Center said.

As with recent rounds of storms this timeline could change.

“There’s still some uncertainty to the timing,” Fano said. “If the storms do happen to blow through early, a second round of storms could develop later in the afternoon.”

With lakes like Lake Benbrook being full, flooding is also a concern but Fano said these storms should move through the area quickly rather than stall.

The West Gulf River Forecast Center is now focusing its concerns on the Colorado River east to the Sabine River.

The storms should be gone by late Saturday afternoon, but rain chances will return Monday, putting more pressure on area lakes.

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