Floodwaters Converging Downstream on Lake Houston
As of Monday morning, the threat to Lake Conroe had passed, but now floodwaters from the rain soaked northwestern portion of the region are converging on Lake Houston. Here’s a roundup of what’s happening where.
Lake Conroe Going Down
The San Jacinto River Authority reduced its discharge rate to from 9275 cubic feet per second (CFS) to 8120 CFS as the level of Lake Conroe continued to recede, but the West Fork came out of its banks at US 59. The West Fork also began flooding Kingwood’s River Grove Park and the abandoned Noxxe Oil Fields between the river and the Forest Cove Little League Fields.
Lake Conroe Re-Opening With Caution
The SJRA issued a press release at 10:15 am. stating that Lake Conroe will reopen to normal lake traffic at noon Monday, May 3. However, boaters are still urged to use extreme caution due to floating debris and submerged objects that may not be fully visible. With submerged bulkheads, lake area residents should also be cautious of electrical outlets and equipment coming into contact with water.
SJRA is currently releasing water from the Lake Conroe dam to gradually lower the water level back to conservation pool of 201’, but SJRA must strike a balance between upstream recovery and downstream danger. For real-time information on Lake Conroe levels, releases, rainfall totals, or stream flows visit www.sjra.net.
SJRA clarified that it intends to return Lake Conroe to 200 until June 1 per its seasonal lake lowering policy as soon as emergency operations restore it to 201. Normally, SJRA would begin recapture on June 1, not May 1. The seasonal release rate is much lower than the current rate.
Floodwaters Converging Toward South and East
Meanwhile, the glut of rainfall that inundated the northwest portions of Houston last week is starting to converging on areas downstream.
As of 10:30 am, the San Jacinto East Fork is also way out of its banks at FM1485 and FM1485 is reportedly closed until Friday. That leaves one way in and out of Colony Ridge – FM2090.
The San Jacinto East Fork at FM2090 peaked overnight and is starting to recede, but is still out of its banks. The East Fork is not influenced by the Lake Conroe Dam, which is on the West Fork.
FM2090 is still open, but Plum Grove resident Michael Shrader reported a steady line of traffic trying to get out of Colony Ridge up to 11:30 PM Sunday night. This underscores the need to develop alternate evacuation routes for the fast growing subdivision.
Meanwhile, the flood threat is receding at Peach Creek and FM2090.
Caney Creek at FM2090 is getting back within its banks.
And the West Fork, however, is still rising. By 9 a.m. (six hours after the hydrograph below) it was out of its banks at US59.
Flood Warning Remains in Effect for West Fork Until Further Notice
At 2:45 PM CDT Monday, the National Weather Service indicated the West Fork was 49.6 feet.
- Flood stage is 49.3 feet.
- Minor flooding is occurring and minor flooding is forecast.
- Forecast…The river is expected to rise to a crest of 49.7 feet late this afternoon. It will then fall below flood stage late Wednesday morning.
- Impact…At 49.3 feet, Minor lowland flooding begins in the vicinity of the gage. North side turnaround at US 59 begins to flood. Low points on Thelma Road, Aqua Vista Drive, and Riverview Drive begin to flood.
- Flood History…This crest compares to a previous crest of 49.7 feet on 11/13/2008.
Here are photos taken along the West Fork this morning.
No widespread flooding is expected in the Lake Houston Area. But people who live in low-lying areas or near the lake should take precautions.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/3/2021 based on information from NWS, HCFCD, Jeff Lindner, SJRA, Michael Shrader and personal observation
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