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Strange and powerful 'boat swallowing' vortex appears in Lake Texoma

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Increased rain levels may be the cause.

A strange, giant vortex, estimated to be around 8-feet in diameter, has appeared in Lake Texoma. This occurrence is surprising and perhaps threatening. However, there is an explanation.

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Highlights

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
6/26/2015 (6 years ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: vortex, intense, powerful, dam, drain, river, US Army

MUNTUNLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Lake Texoma is known as one of the biggest basins or reservoirs in the United States. It is located on the border of Oklahoma and Texas and is created by the Denison Dam, which spreads for about 3 miles in length.

The vortex is so powerful; the water flow forms a tornado-like cyclone shape with a wider opening at the top and gets narrower towards the end. According to lake bosses, the vortex is due to the record rainfall.

The U.S. Army noted that the vortex is "eight feet in diameter and capable of sucking in a full-sized boat."


BJ Parkey provided the explanation as to why the vortex appeared. Parkey clarified that the vortex has appeared because there has been draining of some water from the reservoir.

"Just like in your house when you fill a bathtub full of water and [open] the drain, it will develop a vortex or whirlpool."


Water often builds, and when the water levels finally reach a peak, the Army opens the water gates at the bottom of the lake to then channel some of the water into the river. In early June, Lake Texoma had reached a record-breaking height of nearly 646ft above sea level.

Contrary to what the Army emphasized, Parkey does not suppose that the vortex can actually swallow a boat. Parkey explains that the vortex is more likely to be around three feet wide (0.9 metres). However, according to Parkey, the vortex can grow bigger, depending on the amount of water that is released.

It is a good thing the lake prohibits boaters from going in the area of the vortex by placing warning signs around the area.

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