Red Mill Dam

A pair of GBRA employees watch as water spills over Red Mill Dam draining Lake Placid on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.

Another area lake is draining down to the river channel after a dam gate was unresponsive following Thursday’s flooding event.

Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority technicians are working on what appears to be another failed spill gate at Lake Placid and planned to continue trying to fix the problem before the lake is completely dewatered.

An operations team started to work Thursday on the non-responsive spill gate at Lake Placid, Communications Manager Lindsey Campbell said. The problem was reminiscent of what happened when other lakes in the system dewatered, she said.

“Yesterday, gate two at Lake Placid was not responding to rising, similar to what we had at Lake Gonzales,” Campbell said Friday afternoon. “As for right now, the gate is still not responsive. Our crews are working to reengage the gate and bring it back into operation.”

With the gate down over time, the lake will dewater, the communications manager said.

GBRA lowered gates at dams in the system as remnants of Hurricane Pamela drenched the area ground and waterways. Some places along the GBRA lakes on the Guadalupe River experienced flows in excess of 30,000 cfs, Campbell said.

About 5:30 or 6 p.m. Thursday, water authority personnel tried to raise gates at Lake Placid when flow rates diminished, she said. With the 12-foot gate inoperable, Lake Placid continued to drain, Campbell said.

“The lake level is lowered as of right now because the gate, again, is not responding,” she said.

For months a Lake Placid water control and improvement district has created plans to work with GBRA to replace the spill gates at the dam. Construction is expected to begin in the beginning of 2022, Campbell said.

If the spill gate becomes operational soon, it will have to come down totally for construction on the spill gates project, she said.

Spill gates at Lake McQueeney and Meadow Lake also were lowered during the high-water event, Campbell said. Gates at McQueeney responded without issue, she said, but at least one at Meadow Lake on Thursday evening went through a similar situation to the one at Lake Placid.

Water flows downstream from Nolte Dam subsided and crews were able to raise the gates at Meadow Lake, she said.

“People may have seen a lower lake level at Meadow but the crew has been able to resume those spill gate operations,” Campbell said.

As water continues to flow down the river, water speeds could increase without warning within a couple of days, she said.

“We expect that downstream could still see higher flows over the next 48 hours,” Campbell said. “We’re just telling people to stay out of the water and be vigilant about higher flows.”

Dalondo Moultrie is the assistant managing editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at dalondo.moultrie@seguingazette.com .

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