H5 Dam

A picture of the dam at H5 (Lake Wood).

GONZALES COUNTY — Those who live near Lake Wood have seen what happens in a flooding event.

Currently, they are seeing the opposite, as the dam at the head of the river broke, forcing Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) to drain the lake and determine the problem.

On March 10, GBRA reported on their Facebook page, that the lake was being lowered for repairs to the dam.

“A gate at H-5 (Lake Wood) was let down to 12 feet. This morning (March 10) GBRA Hydro crews are working on that gate,” it said.

Later that day, GBRA posted that one of the gates were not operational.

“UPDATE: The dam at H-5 or Lake Wood has two gates ­— one is operating properly, but the other gate is malfunctioning,” it said.

For property owner Landra Solansky watching the waters recede is a sad sight to see.

“It’s pretty devastating,” she said. “We’ve watched the waters rise during the floods, but we’ve never expected to see it receding like this. The only thing that is left is the river that is running through the middle, and it is pretty much down to a trickle.”

Solansky and her husband own property along the banks of the lake, as well as lease some property, she said.

Each day since it was reported, Solansky and her husband have watched, hoping that the river would rise and refill the lake.

“My husband has a stick out there to help us gauge how much the water has gone down that day,” she said. “We go out there every day. You look out, and you see all of the big trees that have come down in the recent floods.”

GBRA spokeswoman LaMarriol Smith said a crew is working to determine the best course of action for repair.

“The hydro crews have been out there accessing the extent of the damage, and I don’t know at this time how long repairs will take,” she said. “I’m hoping to get an estimate from the hydro crews as soon as they have it.”

Smith knows that rumors have been floated that it could take anywhere from six weeks to six months to fix the dam, but can’t confirm at this time how long it will take.

“There are a bunch of rumors swirling around about how long it will take, but at this point, I don’t have anything official from the hydro crews of about how long they expect repairs to take,” she said. “These dams were built in the ’20s and ’30s. Almost anytime we have to make repairs, we actually have to have parts retrofitted, because they may not make them anymore. It could be something minor or something extensive. At this point, I don’t know what all the damage is.”

Lowering a lake to make repairs is par for the course, Smith said.

“It is not uncommon to bring the lake down to do the repairs,” she said. “It is not the first time that repairs would take more than a couple of weeks to fix.”

While Lake Wood is affected by the dam, Smith said everything upstream should continue to run as normal.

“At this point, I don’t think it will affect the lakes and river upstream,” she said.

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(1) comment


May be bad to say, but do we really need the dam there anymore? From the picture it looks really bad. Looks like it has cracks in the cement.
I've never been on the lake there but have heard it is fairly shallow. It would be a loss to boaters and cat-fishing. With a flow of natural river maybe open it up to tubing?

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