Drought forces Carlos'n Charlie's to close its doors - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Drought forces Carlos'n Charlie's to close its doors

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Lake Travis and Buchannan are extremely low, lakefront properties keep moving further and further from the water and restaurants are fighting to keep afloat.

After nearly 20 years, Carlos'n Charlie's is closing for good.

FOX 7 spoke to the owner Tuesday and he says if he could predict when it would rain next, things might be different, but with these low lake levels, it's just been too hard, for too long and they can't stay open.

The tree line is where the lake levels used to be. Now, it's a long trek to get to the water that's left.

"There's a point with the lake level that the wires can only go so far, the pipes can only go so far," Jay Poe, Gnarly Gar manager said. ''The biggest problem we have is the trash runs because we have to run that trash all the way up that hill."

Ryan Rowney, with the Lower Colorado River Authority says, the worst drought in Texas history is the drought of the 1950's. We didn't recover from the drought of record until the 1960's.

"614.1 was the lowest level on Lake Travis....Today's elevation is 622.35," Rowney said.

We're not there yet, but we are inching closer and closer with each dry, sunny day.

"When you have those daily demands, coming out of your reservoirs, but there's no inputs coming into the reservoir, your levels are going to drop dramatically and that's what's happening," Rowney said.

Since they're in a deeper part of Lake Travis, Gnarly Gar still sees boat traffic.

"Carlos'n Charlie's is closing. Shades doesn't have their boat access, Johnny Fins has been closed the last couple of years, so that really has helped us business-wise, but it's still sad to look and see more rock than you see liquid," Poe said.

To combat the low lake levels, Gnarly Gar promotes happy hours, food specials and live music with no cover.

"If we get to that 600,000 acre foot trigger level, we'll be asking for additional curtailments from our customers, another 20 percent," Poe said.

Even if you don't frequent the lakes, the LCRA says you should still care about low lake levels.

"There's a really good chance that the water you drink, the water you use in your home, probably comes from Lake Buchanan or Lake Travis, so that in itself is a message for all of us to conserve, use the water wisely. We don't know when it's going to rain again," Rowney said.

"There is a spot there, or a level where we have to stop our operation, but we have to go a bunch longer time before we hit that," Poe said.

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