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This week’s rain could fill Smith Mountain Lake more than once

You could almost fill the lake up twice with all this week’s rain

Water level rising at Smith Mountain Lake
Water level rising at Smith Mountain Lake

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va.In a previous article, I mentioned how many swimming pools could be filled with all the rain we received this past week.

A colleague then wondered if we could fill Smith Mountain Lake with all that rain.

It turns out that you can, and you could have some leftover water too. Here’s how I found that out.

By finding the amount of rain that fell in each county/city and finding each locality’s square mileage, you can calculate how many gallons of water fell. According to the Bedford Regional Water Authority, the first foot of water in Smith Mountain Lake contains more than 6 billion gallons of water. They also say that the average depth of the lake is 55 feet.

How much water is in Smith Mountain Lake
How much water is in Smith Mountain Lake

So, my calculations are based off:

a) the assumption that each foot has 6.5 billion gallons

b) that the entire lake is 55 feet deep.

We know that’s not entirely accurate, but we’re using that for the sake of this little experiment.

What we find, through basic multiplication and division, is that you can fill Smith Mountain Lake 1.69 times.

How much of Smith Mountain Lake could be filled with this week's rain
How much of Smith Mountain Lake could be filled with this week's rain

That means that we could fill the lake once from the ground up and still have enough water to fill “another Smith Mountain Lake” 69% of the way.

How much rain could fill SML
How much rain could fill SML

Even though we cover a large area, this goes to show just how much water was unleashed on us this past week. Meanwhile, Smith Mountain Lake continues to deal with high water levels Friday.


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