NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The widespread flooding across Texas and the southeast explains why measures are taken to control flooding.
Lake Naconiche, in northeast Nacogdoches County, is proving it can handle the job.
At three years old, Lake Naconiche is right where manager Bill Plunkett likes to see it.
"This is the fullest the lake has ever been. It's doing just fine," Plunkett said. "The spillway intake is doing its job."
Which is to control water flow through the Attoyac Bayou Watershed which extends over 80 miles through Rusk, Nacogdoches, San Augustine, and Shelby counties before emptying into Sam Rayburn Reservoir.
All the recent rains means what flows into Lake Naconiche goes out. Plunkett provided a privileged view of how it happens.
"It's falling down about 75 to 80 feet straight down. It's going through a pipe underneath here coming out the other side. The splash that you see is actually coming up from the bottom of this thing."
It's close to the lake's maximum depth.
"There's the old creek of Naconiche Creek right there below," Plunkett said. "It's feeding into the spillway intake. So you can see it's at 40 feet below the surface."
All that water held by a dam still well above the full pool line.
"I've got full confidence in this dam," Plunkett said. "It's secure."
Two auxiliary spillways handle the "what-if" scenarios.
"That's the auxiliary spillway. It's not anywhere close to getting to the auxiliary spillway," Plunkett said. "The possibility of that much water off a 698-acre surface area lake is highly unlikely. If it ever goes off Auxiliary Spillway Number 2 it's time to build an ark."
Lake Naconiche, we're told, is one of seven flood-control lakes in Nacogdoches County.
The others are on private property, but Lake Naconiche serves the public for fishing and recreation. The flood control lake also provides a home for ospreys raising chicks well above rising water.
Plunkett is trained to monitor the inflow and outflow of Lake Naconiche. He also inspects the dam monthly and reports concerns to the Nacogdoches County Commission. The state provides inspections every one to five years.