SJRA’s failure to manage Lake Conroe water level BEFORE rainstorm forces temporary closure

 Conroe, March 30 – Unlike the Coastal Water Authority which lowered Lake Houston’s water levels prior to the recent rainstorms and flash floods this week, which the National Weather Service had forecast for several days, the obstinate San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA), which refuses to take heed of impending weather conditions failed to lower Lake Conroe prior to the storm. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the poorly-run SJRA had to close Lake Conroe temporarily today due to high lake levels, the presence of submerged objects, floating debris and other hazards that could put people’s safety at risk.
SJRA issued the following statement at 12:53 p.m., Friday, March 30, 2018, while The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper has added some comments in bold and brackets:

“Effective immediately, the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) is temporarily closing Lake Conroe due to high lake levels, the presence of submerged objects, floating debris, and other hazards that could put people’s safety at risk.

“We recognize that this is Easter weekend [How utterly prescient!], and we will make every effort to fully reopen the reservoir as soon as conditions allow. [You mean as the conditions you created through poor management allow…]

“The lake level has risen to nearly 203′ above mean sea level (msl), which is two feet over the lake’s normal pool level of 201′ msl. [Based upon the National Weather Service forecast over a week ago, is that really surprising?!]

“At this level, many docks, bulkheads, small islands, and other structures are fully submerged and create a very dangerous situation for boaters. [Thank you for your statement of the obvious.]  In addition, high winds and rapidly-flowing water from local streams have resulted in a large amount of floating debris on the reservoir.  With bulkheads becoming submerged, lake area residents should also be cautious of electrical outlets and equipment coming into contact with water.

“Over the last several days, the Lake Conroe watershed  has experienced rainfall totals from five to eight inches.  This has resulted in a rapid rise in lake level. [We all knew that was coming, so why didn’t you do something about it in advance?]

“SJRA is currently releasing water from the dam in accordance with its operating procedures for the reservoir.  The rate of release is currently 6,526 cubic feet per second (cfs).

“The estimated peak inflow into the lake during this event was nearly 30,000 cfs.  This means that the operation of the dam reduced the peak flow that would otherwise have continued down the river. The lake appears to have crested which should minimize how long the lake will remain closed.”



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