Sam Rayburn Reservoir adding flood releases through floodgates

Sam Rayburn Reservoir adding flood releases through floodgates
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that several facilities around Sam Rayburn Reservoir like public boat ramps will be closed because of the high lake levels. (Source: KTRE Staff)

FORT WORTH, TX (KTRE) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun releasing water through flood gates at Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

Recent rain has filled the flood storage at Sam Rayburn, leaving the project in surcharge operations, according to a news release from the corps.

Higher than normal releases are now necessary and the organization says if rainfall patterns continue, they might set a new pool of record. The current record of elevation is 175.15, recorded on March 10, 1992.

The corps released at statement on the flooding Tuesday:

FORT WORTH, Texas – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ representatives at Sam Rayburn Reservoir announce that the reservoir continues to function as designed and releases of flood water will begin today through the flood gates in addition to those through the Powerhouse.

Recent rainfalls have completely filled the flood storage within Sam Rayburn and the project is currently in surcharge operations. This means that higher than normal releases are necessary. Capacity downstream has been regained allowing use of the floodgates in addition to hydropower releases.

Continued rainfall will result in additional inflows, possibly setting a new pool of record. The pool of record for Sam Rayburn is elevation 175.15, recorded on March 10, 1992. Engagement of the labyrinth weir spillway remains possible if the current rainy cycle continues. Lake conditions and downstream releases may impact properties and roadways in the vicinity of the reservoir and the Angelina River downstream of the project; therefore visitors, as well as local residents, should stay apprised of current local road conditions.

Release amounts will continue in accordance with the Water Control Plan through the Powerhouse and now will also include releases through the floodgates. At this time, combined releases are not scheduled to exceed 10,000 cubic feet per second.

The current, short-range forecast does not indicate engaging the labyrinth weir spillway at lake elevation 176; however, continued and unprecedented rainfall will increase the likelihood of higher pool elevations, potentially initiating spillway flow. At that level, impacts are anticipated both immediately around and downstream of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

All water safety measures must be adhered to when on or near the water. Life vests are a must! Large water discharges and changing lake levels will present new hazards at or just below the water line and may inundate low lying roads. Be vigilant and constantly aware of changing conditions and hazards. Newly submerged hazards and flooded roadways can cause serious damage or injury.

Personnel have been and continue to monitor lake levels and the associated impact to recreational facilities. Recreational areas will be opened as soon as conditions allow. Multiple U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s managed campgrounds and boat ramps are currently closed. Additional camping and/or boat launching opportunities may be found at Cassels-Boykin Park, Powell Park Marina, Jackson Hill Park and Marina, Shirley Creek Park and Marina, and the Sam Rayburn Resort and Marina. Please contact each facility prior to visiting to ensure availability. Not all additionally listed locations provide boat launching opportunities at this time. Recreational areas are open and available at the B.A. Steinhagen/Town Bluff/Dam B project.

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