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A look from Chopper 7 at high water issues in Deep East Texas

WEBXTRA: Sam Rayburn flooding
WEBXTRA: Sam Rayburn flooding
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 3:41 PM CDT
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DEEP EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Recent rain has filled many East Texas lakes and rivers to the brim. We sent Chopper 7 to Sam Rayburn Reservoir, and surrounding areas, to get a look at the water level from the air.

According to the Texas Water Development Board, Sam Rayburn is 100 percent full. The water level is at 175.1 feet, 10.7 feet above normal. The lake was encroaching on several homes with fences underwater. An RV park near the dam was mostly inaccessible because of flooded roads. Campsites and the shoreline were submerged.

Just southeast of the dam, several groups of trees appeared to be growing out of the water, but this is what locals call Rattlesnake Island. It’s a popular place for boaters to frequent, but there is no land above water now. A boat ramp adjacent to the island is completely submerged.

The spillway was filled nearly to the brim as it sits 176 feet above sea level. The dam was releasing water into the Neches which fed Steinhagen Reservoir. The dam there was also releasing water which flooded Barlow Estates just downstream.

Most of the properties there were only accessible by boat. Water has been high there for weeks. There were several vehicles parked along roadways, and powerpoles were under water at their bases. The water looked to be four or five feet deep in spots, and for now at least, some of the homes in Barlow Estates appear to be abandoned until the water recedes.

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