TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Lake Fort Phantom Hill is seeing a sharp jump in its water level compared to this time in years past. The summer showers are mostly to thank or blame, depending how you feel about the rain, but a major contributor to the lakes rise in tide is a process called “Scalping.”

Essentially, a procedure by which excess water from the nearby Clear Fork of the Brazos is siphoned into the lake via underground piping. It’s a fairly common process, but it’s one that has not been seen in recent years due to low rainfall averages.

Lake Fort Phantom Hill Percent full in Thousand Acre-feet / via WaterDataForTexas.org

“It’s come up, I guess, probably about a foot-and-a-half since they started pumping out of the river,” said Lake Fort Phantom Hill resident Wayne McWhirter.

McWhirter told KTAB/KRBC he keeps an eye on water levels and lake activity. The combination of rainfall and scalping has contributed to a sizeable rise in Ft. Phantom’s total volume, as according to him.

“Overall, it’s probably come up, I’d say, 3-and-a-half, four foot,” McWhirter hypothesized.

Waters mix after “scalping” into Lake Ft. Phantom Hill

While this will no doubt lead to a run for fishing gear, our lakes aren’t the only areas getting more rain than they’re used to.

Flooding has been reported in several Big Country towns over the past few weeks. Most recently, the streets of Merkel were overflowing.

In response and preparation, the City of Merkel has made sand available to the public. Any and all Merkel residents are invited to fill their flood bags up with sand stored at 509 South Cherry Street in Merkel while supplies last.