In the last two weeks heavy rains have slammed the areas upstream from Lake Conroe leading to steady rises in the lake level. Had the lake not been lowered earlier, neighborhoods could be flooding now. Streets in several places are already cut off.
More Than Three Foot Increase Above Lowered Level
The rain a week ago erased the one-foot seasonal lowering that SJRA started on April 1. Then yesterday’s rains increased the lake more than 2 feet above its normal level of 201 – despite increasing discharges by the SJRA. The lake is now threatening lakeside homes and businesses as you can see from the photos below.
If you’ve watched the dashboard at SJRA.net, the SJRA started discharging 450 cubic feet per second (CFS) before the most recent round of storms. Now the discharge rate has increased to 9275 CFS, which is close to the max rate that the antiquated flood gates on Lake Houston can handle. But even at 9275 CFS, Lake Conroe continued to rise this afternoon.
So did Lake Houston, despite the fact that the Coastal Water Authority has been trying to lower the lake a full foot for several days now.
Water Coming from Other Sources, Too
However, in addition to the water from Lake Conroe, Lake Houston is also picking up water from other sources, a number of which are in danger of coming out of their banks.
Yellow triangles indicate a stream could come out of its banks. Red exclamation points mean flooding is likely.
But the Lake Conroe Association has fought the lowering for the last two years both in a court of law and the court of public opinion. The Association mounted an expensive campaign including billboards, lawsuits, and a legislative offensive against the SJRA. Now, the rapid rise in lake levels may undermine LCA’s support; it certainly undercuts their arguments against seasonal lake lowering.
Water Creeping Closer to Homes and Businesses around Lake Conroe
A Lake Conroe resident who wishes to remain anonymous took the pictures below this afternoon. They show docks underwater, the lake invading shorelines, streets cut off, and homes and businesses being threatened by rising waters.
The marinas on 105 are closed for two reasons. First, the lake is closed to boat traffic because of dangerous conditions. Second, the water is high enough that you can’t get trailers in deep enough, according to one resident. The Walden marina looked like the one above, he said.
One More Round of Thunderstorms Tonight
Expect one more round of storms tonight. National Weather Service radar shows them already sweeping into the Lake Conroe area. They aren’t predicted to dump large amounts of rain, but they will put additional pressure on the homes and businesses around the lake, especially as runoff from previous storms continues to work its way to the lake.
The East Fork in southeast Montgomery County remains under a Flash Flood WARNING, especially areas around Caney and Peach Creeks.
And virtually the entire region remains under a flash flood watch through tomorrow morning. A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to Flash Flooding. Flash Flooding is very dangerous. You should monitor forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/1/2021 based on information from Lake Conroe residents and the NWS
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