Texas Draining Four Lakes As Aging Infrastructure Faces Catastrophe

"Two floodgate failures on 90-year-old Guadalupe River Valley dams — and the plan to lower the remaining four — are highlighting Texas' underfunded, aging flood infrastructure."

"SEGUIN — Texas officials will start draining four lakes next week in Guadalupe County in Central Texas without a plan in place for when the lakes, and the 90-year-old dams that support them, will be rebuilt. Area homeowners, who got barely a month's notice, said they felt blindsided by the plan, and they say it will slash their property values, kill their beloved century-old cypress trees and render the lakes — which have hosted water skiing tournaments for decades — unusable.

But Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority officials say they don’t have a choice. The dams, two of which have already had catastrophic failures, are creating a safety hazard that could flood entire neighborhoods if they get any worse, river authority spokeswoman Patty Gonzales said. River authorities were created by the Texas Legislature to manage and conserve water resources around the state.

“We cannot guarantee the safety of the public with these aging spill gates” and have to lower them, Gonzales said. The dams are set to be lowered starting Monday."

Chase Karacostas reports for the Texas Tribune September 10, 2019.

Source: Texas Tribune, 09/11/2019