‘It’s like a mini Grand Canyon’: Lake Jackson drained, temporarily turned to hiking trails

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:43 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Lake Jackson has been drained, temporarily turned to hiking trails in a phenomenon witnessed only about a dozen times in the last century.

Locals are saying they saw water starting to drain in to the sinkhole Monday morning, and Wednesday, lots of people were there to see the new landscape.

It’s hard to believe such a big chance can happen so quickly, and there really has been so many different opinions about some people obviously impressed with the views.

However, others are mourning the loss of the wildlife, but environmentalists say it’s important to keep in mind that this is all part of the lake’s natural cycle.

For the first time in nearly a decade, the view of the Lake Jackson horizon is a sinkhole, also known as Porter Sink.

Three days since the draining, there is still water rushing to the aquifer

“It was fun, you first walk down, and it just looks like a dried lake bed,” said President of Friends of Lake Jackson Terri Carrion. “And then you get out a little further and it’s like a mini Grand Canyon.”

The lake bottom is now ground to walk on. Environmentalists said this phenomenon will eventually bring new life.

“Things rejuvenate,” added Carrion. “It will help get rid of a lot of invasives. Invasives will die, because we have that issue of invasives taking over, aquatic plants as well as upland stuff. So that’s going to change the entire ecology in a way that’s mostly going to be positive”

According to the Department of Environmental Protection, “dry downs” are occur when the sinkhole, which is typically plugged with sediment, becomes unplugged.

That happens after a lack of rain and the lowering ground water levels.

Eventually, the sinkhole will plug up, but for now, it’s a chance to view this local landmark through a new lens.

As for when it’ll fill back up, WCTV was told that it all depends on rainfall. It could take months or even years, but some local groups are hoping to schedule some clean up and restoration projects while it’s dry.

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