Twenty-two feet into flood pool and still rising.
That’s the latest from officials at Proctor Lake who received word Friday afternoon to open three “tainter gates” and begin releasing water at a rate of 1985 cubic feet per second.
“We’re still getting so much water in,” Tonya Lippe, lake spokesperson, said. She said the amount being released wouldn’t be enough to have a major effect on the lake in a short period of time.
And that’s not good news for those that usually enjoy the lake during the Fourth of July.
Judy Pierce, director of public relations for the Brazos River Authority, said all lakes managed by the Army Corps of Engineers will be closed through the holiday including, Granbury Lake and Whitney Lake.
Pierce said Possum Kingdom Lake is open and will remain open through the holiday as far as she knew. But she said her office is discouraging people from going out on the water due to debris that cannot be seen due to submersion.
City of Brownwood officials said Brownwood Lake would also be closed for at least the next several days.
Lippe said the lake elevation on Friday was 1184 feet and predictions are it will rise over 1187 feet through the weekend.
For those that remember the flood of ‘92 the level then was 1190.58. Normal pool elevation is 1162 feet.
All boat ramps and day use areas in the Proctor Lake parks are now closed and TxDOT closed the bridge over Sowell Creek early Thursday morning when it became impassable.
Several lake homes in low elevations have been evacuated and more are being watched closely, Lippe said.
Lippe said one group shelter is open at Promontory Park along with a few dry sites with all other sites closed due to flooding. Lippe said there might have been 10 campers left by early Friday morning and to her knowledge all had been able to remove their boats from the lake.
“There is a lot of debris out there,” Lippe said. Caution should be used for those out on the lake she advised. She said some county boat ramps might still be open but the high water would make parking spaces very limited.
“We are advising parents to please monitor their children if they take them swimming outside of the park areas or anywhere at this time,” Lippe said. “We have a lot of water coming into the lake.”
Lippe said water is still entering from Lake Leon and conditions downstream prevent officials from releasing large amounts.
Lippe said the holiday is one of the biggest for the lake and revenue will be lost but officials are more worried about damage to parks from floodwaters.
ANGELIA JOINER is a staff writer for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 965-3124,ext. 238