Close Watch on Lake Livingston Level - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/03/07 - Livingston

Close Watch on Lake Livingston Level

by Donna McCollum

A roar of releasing water is protecting residents above and below the Livingston spillway. Lake Livingston project manager, Bill Holder makes sure the right amount comes out.  " We expect some minor to moderate increases in releases over the next four or five days." 

The increased flow is caused by north Texas floodwaters, something Jerold Plumb is way too familiar with. He lives in north Texas and was in Livingston visiting relatives. " It's just amazing to come down here to look and see that the dam is now releasing the water that came from our area. "

Every hour on the hour the Trinity River Authority calculates how much to release. Currently it's 24,000 cubic feet per second. Gradually the release could go up to 40,000 cubic feet per second. Holder said, " As far as downstream conditions below the reservoir, usually it causes what we consider minor to moderate flooding which can cut off road access to cattle operators and things like that. " The upper end can expect the same.   Aside from monitoring systems at the spillway, there are monitors along the Trinity River. The most the significant rise has been near Trinidad.  

A significant amount of water is being released from Lake Livingston, but authorities say compared to other flooding events it's rather moderate. However, they stress a strong 'what if'.   'If' East Texas gets pounded by rain as north Texas did, then there could be serious problems. Local residents will be advised by emergency management coordinators about potential serious flooding.

Plumb said, " I just hope that the people down here are safe."  For now, natives of different species are enjoying spillway release. Side by side, humans and shore birds enjoyed a day of fishing.

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