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Cachuma Lake continues rebound after storms

Cachuma Lake is experiencing a Renaissance after nearly running dry.

Private boats are able to launch from a ramp, that just a few weeks ago was several football fields away from the shoreline.

Reporter Alys Martinez hitched a ride with Marina Manager Monty Keller around the lake.

“I’ve been working here for three and a half years and I’ve never seen this much water,” Kellar said.

The lake is spotted with large debris fields from February storms which helped the lake rise more than 30 feet.

“The debris we are seeing mainly is from six years of drought. The rain washed it into the lake. A good part of it is from the Rey Fire.” Keller said. “There are actual whole trees in the lake.”

Cachuma is still playing catch-up with other reservoirs that are now full.

“It’s weird the way the weather comes here because of the valley and the way this valley is. It seems no matter which way we get rain, this valley tends to split the storm. If they predict and inch, we usually end up with a quarter inch,” Keller said.

Santa Barbara County officials said the new lake level allowed them to disconnect an emergency barge that was needed to move water from the Tecolote Tunnel to the South Coast. Now, the barge is no longer needed and all water flow to the South Coast is by gravity, according to Tom Fayram, the county’s deputy director of water resources.

Even though the lake is on the rebound, Keller said another big round of rain is still needed to get the lake level closer to normal.

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