Rain Causes Belton Lake to Fill Up After Years of Severe Drought

Despite Texas’s reputation for hot and dry weather, recent rains have significantly improved the state’s water sources.

After a year of severe drought in the area, Belton Lake saw water levels rise to a two-year high thanks to a recent downpour.

Lake levels dropped by 60% in July 2023 as a result of months without rain in the region. The reservoir did “a full recovery” to 100% capacity in 2024 thanks to rejuvenating rains, but it could rise another 10 feet over the next week, increasing the likelihood of flooding. This was the first time it had happened since 2022.

With a 14-foot rise in just one week, the water level reached 601 feet in May.

Locals haven’t seen this level at Lake Belton in quite some time– one hundred percent, with the Leon River raging along at full speed.

With the good comes the bad, with the number of flood warnings increasing dramatically due to the recent rainstorms. A tornado that struck Hawley caused major property damage and injuries to four individuals. The southern portion of the state continues to have issues with extreme heat, which is causing worries about the capacity of the electrical infrastructure.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Belton natural resource park ranger Arty Johnson called the recent rain “unusual,” but it affected more than just Lake Belton. Twenty feet more water than usual was added to Lake Waco. After soaring 10 feet in less than a week, Stillhouse Hollow Lake had a remarkable comeback and is currently just three inches short of capacity. Both Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis are also steadily developing.

In a similar vein, the reservoirs in Southern California have seen staggering resurgences due to the recent rainfall. The water levels in Lake Elsinore had hit record highs after the storms, while reports indicated that Lake Casitas is approaching 100% capacity for the first time since 1998 in April.