Lakes high as releases continue

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David Minton/DRC
Floodwaters shown Friday cover nearly all of the Ray Roberts State Park Greenbelt access point off U.S. Highway 380 east of Denton.
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Engineers work to bring levels down after recent rains

Weeks after heavy rains, some roads in Denton County remain flooded as water is being released from Lewisville Lake and Ray Roberts Lake.

Shady Shores Road in Shady Shores and the intersection of Fishtrap Road and Brewer Road east of Providence Village remain flooded because of releases from Lewisville Lake, said Jody Gonzalez, the county’s emergency management coordinator.

The releases from Ray Roberts Lake started in late December, and releases from Lewisville started at the beginning of the new year, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. While the flood pools at the lakes had both been full for days before releases started, they had to wait until they wouldn’t cause flooding downstream along the Trinity River, said Clay Church, a spokesman for the corps.

“Now since it’s safe to pass those waters downstream, that’s what we’re doing,” he said. “They system is functioning as designed, and our lakes are functioning as designed.”

Before releases started, Lewisville Lake was within 5 inches of the top of its flood pool, 532 feet above sea level. On Sunday, the lake was at 530.19 feet and was releasing 6,375 cubic feet per second to get the level back down to its normal conservation level, 522 feet. This could take weeks, Church said.

Ray Roberts Lake, which normally sits at 632.5 feet above sea level, was at 639.63 feet Sunday, releasing 2,006 cubic feet per second of water to lower its levels.

The releases are gauged to make sure they won’t lead to flooding downstream, because areas like Denton Creek are prone to flooding, Church said.

However, several areas around Lewisville Lake remain flooded by the rains, including Hickory Creek Park and the Big Sandy Access point, which are closed because of the water.

Because of this, Church urges people who are fishing and boating to be careful near the edges of the lake.

“There are fishermen and others who have to be extremely careful because with these high pool levels — the shoreline has changed,” Church said. “There might be a picnic table or barbecue grill under the water, and if you run a boat up on that, it can be extremely dangerous.”

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

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