Video Shows Lake Drained By Major City Returning After 110 Years


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Aerial footage shared in early June showed Owen Lake in California reaching its largest size in 110 years as snowpacks start to melt across the state.

A gif created by amateur meteorologist Colin McCarthy shows Owens Lake in the eastern Sierra Nevada region of California filling some 25 square miles of land. The lake was originally drained in 1913 by the Los Angeles aqueduct, but has made a comeback thanks to massive runoff from snowpacks created during California’s intense winter storms.

The lake is now at its largest size in some 110 years, McCarthy noted. Flash flooding and controlled floods have occurred in the region prior to 2023, but this latest flood is the first caused by heavy precipitation, NASA noted.

The Golden State suffered back-to-back extreme weather events throughout the winter of late 2022 and into 2023, including atmospheric rivers and storms that led to intense flooding and significant snowpacks. Owens Lake is one of at least two long-lost bodies of water that has made a return thanks to the excessive precipitation across the west coast. (RELATED: California Braces For ‘The Big Melt.’ It Could Be Catastrophic)

Tulare Lake, once the largest body of freshwater west of the Mississippi, completely disappeared in the 20th century due to poor water resource management throughout the state. Due to meltwaters and the replenishment of groundwater, Tulare is expected to flood until at least 2024, covering up roadways, infrastructure, and farmland in the Central Valley.