Citizens angry Corps of Engineers releasing Lake Lavon water

Print
Email
|

by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 24 at 9:06 AM

CULLEOKA - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to open the flood gates at Lake Lavon. It's a plan that has Collin County families fuming.

Those families have been under water restrictions for months now, and say the recent rain shouldn't go to waste.

The Army Corps of Engineers say they're opening the gates by law, not by choice.

One city leader has another plan. Plano Mayor Phil Dyer says his city manager will meet with water district officials Monday, and ask them to ease water restrictions as soon as possible.

For the first time in two years, the lake is not only full, it's above its normal level.

Lavon is just over half-a-foot above capacity. By law, the Corps of Engineers must release excess water.

That's not going over well with water customers like Collin Ashley of Allen, who endured lengthy water restrictions and pleas to save water.

"I need water here," Ashley said. "I've got a lot of yard work, so hopefully they'll think about the people first, before they start releasing."

The Corps will open the floodgates slowly next week. Customers like Nathan Svedik are calling it a waste.

"I think it's important we keep the water level high because we don't know if we're going to be in another drought or what the summer is going to bring," he said. "So we could be in the same boat."

Corps officials say they have no choice.

"Lake Lavon is a flood-damage reduction lake," a Corps spokesman said. "So one of the primary purposes of the lake is to be able to store water against a flood."

Water customers say it seems roles have been reversed.

For so long, they've been asked to conserve water. And now, they say it's the government that's wasting it.


UPDATE Friday, 9:58 p.m.

The North Texas Municipal Water District released a statement on Lake Lavon late Friday. It reads, in part: "The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) does not control the release of flood waters from Lake Lavon.  That is the responsibility of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) which controls and manages the water level of Lake Lavon based on long standing flood control procedures. Lake Lavon is first a flood control reservoir.  Due to recent rains, Lake Lavon is now above the 'normal conservation pool" of 492 feet msl and is now in what is considered the 'flood pool' reservoir levels above 492 msl'.  Runoff from recent rains is continuing to flow into the Lavon, and USACE will release water as needed to protect lives and property as part of flood control measures. Releases will not occur when levels return to the 'normal conservation pool' of 492 feet msl."

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|