Arizona lakes swell following wet winter: 'It’s outstanding to have this kind of moisture'

Lakes have been swelling in Arizona thanks to a wet winter and Roosevelt Lake might be the best example as forest rangers announced some of the boat ramps are closed because there’s just too much water.

Looking at the lake, it might feel like you should be to back a boat up into the water, but the actual ramp is actually still a ways down the road, vanished under feet of water.

‘This is great’

On Luke Chesley's birthday, he thought he’d come fish but was surprised by the water.

"10 years. 10 years and I’ve never seen it this high," he said.

The water rushed in above trees and shrubs, retaking the land.

"Well, usually you can see the entire trees down there, but now you can’t because of the water, and usually you can see the entire boat ramp, but now you can't," he said.

Tonto Basin Ranger Jeremy Plain says you really notice it on the sides of the hills.

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"What we call the ‘bathtub ring’ around the lake is really starting to shrink, so it’s getting there, and it’s a good thing for sure," he said.

Half of the boat ramps are closed as the entrance is underwater. Double yellow lines start on the road begin to vanish under the murk.

"That access road will be underwater from now until when the lake will recede," Plain explained.

Susie Peck spends a lot of time in her houseboat and says it’s been years and years since water levels were this high.


SRP releasing water from reservoir to make room for anticipated runoff

With recent rain and snow as well as a watershed that is 86%, SRP officials have started to release water from one of their reservoirs in order to make room for even more water.

"Things are filling up all over Lake Powell. It's not great yet, but it’s getting better so, yeah, this is great," she said.

No one is saying the drought is over. There’s still a water problem in Arizona. But there’s no denying the levels at this lake are good news.

"It’s outstanding to have this kind of moisture especially in a year that was supposed to be a dry winter. So to have this amount of moisture, this coming in, and have lake levels the way they are is great," Plain said.

The lake, although swelled, is actually only 86% full. Plain says SRP said to expect it to near 100% in the coming weeks.