Engineers: Lake Sam Rayburn doing its job controlling water levels

WEBXTRA: Engineers say Lake Sam Rayburn doing its job controlling water levels

JASPER, TX (KTRE) - The u-s army corps of engineers continues to monitor lake levels at the Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Last week the Corps made the decision to open the floodgates to release water accumulated in the lake after heavy rain fall.

Engineers said the reservoir is doing exactly what it was designed to do- control the water levels.

Taking a walk inside the facilities that hold up the reservoir, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers discussed the potential impact lake levels could have if more rain falls.

“The whole purpose of Sam Rayburn impoundment was for the flood control, to hold back these floodwaters to prevent the downstream flooding that was happening in the areas below us in Beaumont, Orange in those areas,” said Tom Webb, regional hyrdopower manager

Engineers: Lake Sam Rayburn doing its job controlling water levels

In 54 years, the lake has never flowed past its banks.

“The reservoir is doing exactly what congress in 1945 authorized it to do and it’s fulfilling its purpose,” he said.

More rain could elevate lake levels quickly. Right now, the water level is at 174.8 feet. The Army Corps of Engineers is hoping to get it to its ideal level by April, which is 163 feet.

“We increase surveillance of the entire project side based on various pool elevations. Right now we are at daily surveillance, do we have daily staff that monitor and make readings of instrumentation on the project everyday and we analyze that to ensure that the project is performing as its designed and so far it has," said Mark Harrmann, dam safety lead Pineywoods Region.

For now, the rain has filled the flood storage area at Sam Rayburn creating a need for water to be released through the two flood gates.

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