Lake Texoma, located on the border of Texas and Oklahoma, has recently developed a strange and dangerous hazard that is big enough to sink a ship.
That hazard is an 8-feet wide vortex that looks like it came straight from a science fiction movie, and it is a sight to behold.
The vortex might look otherworldly, but there is a logical explanation for it.
The lake, which is created by the buildup of water at Denison Dam on the Red River, is being drained.
Assistant lake manager at Lake Texoma, BJ Parkey, told Business Insider how the phenomenon occurs. When lake water levels get too high, the Army Corps opens floodgates at the bottom of the lake to drain the water into the Red River. The draining water moves like a cyclone — wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, Parkey explained.
“Just like in your house when you fill a bathtub full of water and [open] the drain, it will develop a vortex or whirlpool,” he added.
Lake Manager Joe Custer told KXII-TV the vortex us basically like a whirlpool. A dangerous one at that, which is capable of sucking in a full sized boat. “That’s why we have the warning signs and buoy lines. People need to understand it’s a very dangerous situation,” he explained.
The vortex is particularly large right now because of the recent flooding in the area caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Lake Texoma’s waters reached a record-high elevation at nearly 646-feet above sea level, KXII reported.
“Once we’re back within our flood control pool, under elevation 640, then we’ll reduce the flow out of the floodgates so we can reduce the flooding downstream,” Custer said, adding this could happen as soon as Wednesday.
It sure is quite a sight, but it’s definitely best to view it from a distance.
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