Last Thursday, the SJRA board voted unanimously to temporarily lower the level of Lake Conroe between one and two feet during peak flood months. Great news…if you live in the Lake Houston area.
Residents downstream of the dam applauded the move; upstream residents had concerns. On Friday, the Conroe Courier ran an article about the lowering. Not quite half of the 1300 word article discussed the efforts of two Lake Conroe homeowners who were organizing protests and letter writing campaigns against lowering the level of the lake.
The article did not quote any of the Kingwood residents who trekked to Lake Conroe to speak in favor of the motion. Nor did it mention any of the ongoing downstream recovery efforts. Thus, it left the impression that Lake Conroe boat owners were being inconvenienced without cause.
I felt the article deserved a response, so I wrote a letter to the editor which, thankfully, they published Monday night. It describes why a temporary lowering of Lake Conroe is our only defense against flooding for the moment. Until such time as the San Jacinto is dredged to restore its carrying capacity and more flood gates can be added to Lake Houston, we need an additional buffer against flooding. Lowering Lake Conroe is the quickest, easiest way to provide that.
It’s important that Montgomery County residents understand the privations that Harris County residents still live with because of Harvey. It’s also important that we work together to protect lives, livelihoods and property on both sides of the Lake Conroe Dam.
We should not be enemies in the recovery effort. Together, our voices are stronger. We can bring about change faster. All of our lives can return to normal sooner.
Here’s the original Conroe Courier article.
Here’s my letter to the editor that tries to put the motion in perspective and build bridges to Lake Conroe homeowners.
It’s important for Lake Houston Area residents to understand that lowering the level of Lake Conroe is not a sealed deal yet. Both the City of Houston, which owns two-thirds of the water in the lake, and the TCEQ, which oversees how water in the lake is accounted for, must both approve the SJRA Board’s motion. Until that happens, Lake Houston area residents must remain vigilant and involved. Take nothing for granted.
Posted by Bob Rehak
May 1, 2018, 245 Days Since Hurricane Harvey