According to its lake lowering policy adopted last year, the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) should start to drop the level of Lake Conroe this weekend.
Text of Lake-Lowering Policy
The lake-lowering policy states:
“Beginning August 1, release only an amount of water from Lake Conroe to create a one foot capacity to catch rainfall and storm runoff (from 201’ msl to 200’ msl). After September 1, increase capacity an additional six inches (from 200’ msl to 199.5’ msl). If a named storm is predicted to impact our region, the COH may initiate an additional release of six inches (to 199’ msl) by notifying SJRA in writing of their call for release. Recapture beginning October 1.”
Before the SJRA can lower the lake, however, the City of Houston (COH) must call for the lowering to start. And according to a spokesman in Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin’s office, the City has called for the release to start.
The City owns two thirds of the water in the Lake and the release will come out of the City’s portion. When the numbers in the box labeled “COH diversion” on the SJRA’s dashboard increase, you’ll know the seasonal release has started.
Lake Conroe Association Still Fighting
In the past, releases have been hotly debated. The Lake Conroe Association has sued the City and SJRA in Montgomery County District Court. The litigants have filed 80 documents totaling more than 2800 pages in the last 121 days. That’s more than 23 pages per day! Some of the plaintiff’s arguments border on ridiculous in my opinion.
- LCA claimed the tax base and property values in Montgomery County would collapse because of the lake lowering. But they’ve gone up.
- LCA also claimed that Lake Conroe could not refill itself in the summer months. But it has.
- Finally, LCA alleges fraud when the City calls for the release of its own property.
Isn’t that kind of like a neighbor of a bank alleging fraud when a depositor makes a withdrawal?
To read all the documents yourself, go to the Montgomery County District Clerk’s website.
Judge Mike Mays set a hearing date for Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 2PM.
Approaching Peak of Hurricane Season
So how is this hurricane season going so far?
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts no tropical activity anywhere in the Atlantic basin for the next five days. That includes the Gulf of Mexico.
However, we’ve already had five named storms this year. And NHC observes…
If history is a guide, the four charts below from the NHC Climatology Page hint at what we can likely expect in the coming months.
The fact that we only had one named storm in July (Elsa) is not unusual; it’s average. But keep in mind that Elsa was the earliest named “E” storm on record.
All in all, the Atlantic this time of year is like a casino. You have to play the odds. And that’s what the temporary seasonal lake lowering policy is designed to do – reduce the risk of huge property losses by creating extra capacity in Lake Conroe to help offset heavy rainfall and the need for large releases.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/30/21
1431 Days since Hurricane Harvey
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