Camille Pagel’s Hurricane Harvey Experience and Plea to Continue Lowering Lake Conroe

Harvey and the 80,000 CFS SJRA release during the storm destroyed virtually everything Camille Muñoz Pagel and her family had. The SJRA is now considering whether to continue lowering Lake Conroe seasonally and temporarily until other flood mitigation measures can be implemented. Pagel wants to share her experience in the hope that the SJRA will continue the policy which provides extra safety against flooding for people downstream.

How the Pagel Family Lost Most Everything They Had

This morning I reached a boiling point. AJ Corso from Montgomery has been on my poop list since last week’s meeting in front of the SJRA. His poster asking to “restore my dream” with his red boat in the foreground makes me want to scream. It’s not helpful, I know, but it seems so outrageous that we should even have to argue about this issue of safety at all.

That people are upset because they can’t put their bloody boats in the water for a little bit, while we downstream literally put ALL of our prized belongings on our yard is unfathomable.

One of the SJRA board members lives across the street and I hope he remembers what this was like and can reason peacefully with Conroe residents. It’s not a forever solution and it can save lives.

Deerwood Country Club on Sunday August 27, 2017. “The water level is chest deep here – about 5 feet,” said Pagel. The SJRA issued a press release at noon on that day saying they were releasing record amounts of water. By next morning, you couldn’t even see the golf course and the release rate would more than double.
Water in the Pagel home reached 4.5 feet after the release. “Almost every belonging we had was below 4.5 feet,” said Pagel.
“My kids didn’t get to jet ski. They got to gut their kitchen instead of being in school.” — Camille Pagel.

“I can’t imagine a world,” said Pagel, “where you see families lose everything and can only think of the time you lost jet skiing or boating.” 

“If these pictures can help Conroe folks see that this is about more than pleasure boating, please share them,” said Pagel.

— Camille Muñoz Pagel 

Well, Camille, I can’t imagine going through what you went through. So here they are world.

Last SJRA Board Meeting Before Big Vote

The next SJRA board meeting on February 20 will be your last chance to comment on their policy of lowering Lake Conroe seasonally until other flood mitigation measures can be put in place. For more details about the meeting and the policy, see the Lake Lowering page on this web site.

Please come. At the last board meeting, Kingwood people were outnumbered at least 20 to 1 by red-shirted residents from Lake Conroe.

January SJRA board meeting. Lake Houston area people are wearing white shirts in the foreground. Lake Conroe people are wearing red shirts.

Other Ways to Register Your Support

If you can’t make the meeting in person, please consider emailing the SJRA board about your Harvey experience. Please consider also signing this petition.

If you would like to share your pictures and story with Lake Conroe residents, please also consider sending them to me for publication via the Submissions page of this web site.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/30/2019 based on input from Camille Pagel

884 Days since Hurricane Harvey