Tyler Co. officials open flood gates to control dam, more rain to come

Tyler Co. officials open flood gates to control dam, more rain to come
(Source: KTRE Staff)
(Source: KTRE Staff)
(Source: KTRE Staff)
(Source: KTRE Staff)

Tyler County residents and officials are bracing themselves for more severe weather Thursday night. At the same time officials are trying to gain control over the flood stage levels at Steinhagen Lake. The county judge has declared a disaster declaration for the county. 

Tyler County residents took a look at waters expected to reach their front doors sometime in the near future. 

"We're just checking on the water levels," said Willie Cropper, a 33-year Tyler County resident. 

"The river channel is full of water backing up all the way from Hardin County," said Dale Freeman, Tyler County Emergency Management Coordinator. 

The gates at Steinhagen Lake felt the pressure of powerful water. A foot of it was released every ten minutes.

"The river is not what we're worried about. We're worried about the back flow because that's what floods us every time," Cropper said. 

"They've released water. They've raised gates all day," Freeman said. 

Freeman poured over measurements he said officials had been watching for the past week. There is no knowledge of how high the dam waters will get as storms still hover overhead.   

 "More rain is knocking on our door step right now," Freeman said. 

Flood warnings sounded off back to back.

"It's been pretty bad. It's hard to get electricity restored. It took four days the last storm we had to get electricity," Cropper said. 

Residents had to choose their battles as the waters flowed over roadways.

"We almost got swept off our feet hear at the opening," said a resident on KTRE's Facebook live feed. 

Residents responding to us on a Facebook feed said they've grown accustomed to the natural catastrophe.

"It looks bad now, but that's normal for us. It's been high the past year and a half," Cropper said. 

Freeman said the river is at 73 feet and is expected to rise to 76 feet. 

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