Water levels rise at Lake Elsinore after years of drying up

CANYON LAKE, Calif. (KABC) -- Thanks to a series of rain storms, water is once again flowing from a dam into Lake Elsinore after years of drying up.

Peggy Cockerill made her morning walk around the lake and noticed something she'd never seen before - the flow of water back into Lake Elsinore.

"I'm hoping it's coming back," she said. "I have been visiting my daughter here for over three years and this is the first time I've seen water."

It's the first time water has flowed into the lake since 2011. The water overflowed at the dam at Canyon Lake and showed a steady stream on Christmas morning.

Mayor Bob Magee said more than 90 percent of the water that flows into Lake Elsinore comes from whatever spills over the dam at Canyon Lake.

It's good news for Lake Elsinore because just five months ago, the lake had to close due to toxic algae that may have been caused by low water levels.

"It was a Christmas miracle for Lake Elsinore," he said. "We can't have a shallow lake. It's not healthy for the fish and our other aquatic life - whether it's vegetation or the more than 200 species of birds that we have here at Lake Elsinore."

There's not as much water coming across the dam Wednesday as there was on Christmas morning, but there is a sizeable amount still flowing. People are hoping that with more rain on the way, the water level at the lake will continue to rise.
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