The gates are open, and this winter's annual drawdown of the Deer Point Reservoir is underway. Bay County Utility Workers opened the gates at six Thursday morning.
As of Thursday morning, the lake was at an average depth of about five feet and the drawdown will lower it to about two and a half feet.
Bay County works with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission each year. FWC Leaders suggested the drawdown to decrease nuisance vegetation, improve boater access and enhance wildlife habitats.
As the water levels lower over the next few days, overgrown vegetation and weeds will be exposed in the reservoir.
"Hopefully we'll get a Cold Snap in the next 45 days. That will reduce the growth in the reservoir," said Paul Lackemacher, Bay County's Utility Services Director.
The drawdown not only improves fish and wildlife habitats but helps residents, too.
About four months, Mother Nature brought the waters of Deer Point Lake a little too close to home for Chumpy and Angela Bowden. Today, they've reclaimed their backyard and look forward to even lower water levels this month.
"We enjoy the drawdowns because we can actually touch up our docks and fix our boat ramps because the floods do tear us up a little bit," said Chumpy Bowden.
It'll take about three or four days for the lake to reach the ideal level. The drawdown is expected to last 45 days until January 30th unless rain or other factors cause water levels to rise.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>