HorseThief Reservoir fills after rainfall

Horsethief Reservoir (KSN File Photo)

JETMORE, Kansas – “This is really exciting!” said reservoir manager Josh Hobbs.

Many doubted if HorseThief Reservoir would ever fill up completely, but now that it has, people have been coming out to see it for themselves.

“Wow! It’s a nice lake, when it’s full like this it’s great,” said one local who drove out just to see.

“Last year the lake came up 7-8 feet maybe 9 over the course of a few weeks and then it’s maintained pretty well so it just took one good event this year,” said reservoir Board member Chris Law.

Until now the reservoir was sitting at about 40-50% full, but in just one day it reached 105% capacity.  Because the water came in so quickly there were some concerns for flooding.

“A flood event could cause some issues,” Hobbs said.  “If the water continues to go up they’ll open the gates a little bit farther and let water go out downstream.”

Luckily the emergency valves were not needed.  Hobbs said they’re happy with levels sitting just above full.

“This morning there was still 800 cubic feet per second of water coming in and a little going out so we’re going to maintain this full for quite some time now,” he said.

If the rains end and another drought period comes he said the reservoir will only lose a few feet of water a year to evaporation.  So, expect to see a thriving lake rain or shine.

“It’s a really nice lake that allows boating, water skiing, jet skiing, it offers about everything,” said Law.

The rain was good timing for the annual HorseThief Festival coming up the second weekend in June.

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