Just last week, I was writing about the huge -- and I can't emphasize that enough -- amount of water rushing into Waconda Lake in the wake of heavy rains.
I spouted off staggering numbers that didn't fully explain the amount or magnitude of the situation
Unfortunately, no one called me on the issue.
Still, I fretted over the data and made a pledge to come clean about the amount of water from a storm in Osborne and Smith counties, along the north and south forks of the Solomon River.
Yes, an average of 9,000 cubic feet of water rushed into Waconda soon after after the massive rains fell. And yes, the water level in the lake rose 1 foot overnight -- a staggering amount considering the lake already covers 13,000 acres.
That alone should have helped me double check my math, as an acre-foot of water -- 326,000 gallons -- is enough to cover an acre of ground with a foot of water.
This is where it gets confusing, as a foot of water across (at least) 13,000 acres would be 4.2 billion gallons. The lake, however, was already 5.23 feet above its designed operating level.
Yep, that's considerably more than the now-paltry 800 million gallons I suggested flowed into the lake in less than 24 hours.
That was my downfall.
Plus, as everyone already knows, as a lake gets bigger, it takes an ever-larger amount of water to raise water levels a foot.
So yes, the very next day, more than 18 billion gallons of water flowed into Waconda.
Since June 1, Waconda is nearly 6.5 feet higher. That amounts to 107,000 acre feet of water.
Or for people who like a lot of zeroes, 34.9 billion gallons.
That's how much water fell in that June 1 storm.
The water continues to flow into Waconda, but now virtually nothing is being released.
That's because the Solomon downstream, and eventually the Kansas River and on into the Missouri River are at near capacity.
Suffice it to say, Mother Nature can provide a staggering amount of water in just a short amount of time.
Unfortunately, it also can withhold that water from areas where it's needed.
Yes, I'm thinking Cedar Bluff with plenty left over for Sebelius.