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Crews eye flooding potential

Profile image for By Megan Gray-Hatfield
By Megan Gray-Hatfield
Chunks of asphalt were washed off Odneal Road, several miles west of Krum, during recent flooding. Debris still hangs on the fences during a thunderstorm Wednesday.Al Key
Chunks of asphalt were washed off Odneal Road, several miles west of Krum, during recent flooding. Debris still hangs on the fences during a thunderstorm Wednesday.
Al Key
Duck Creek Road a mile west of Sanger, which is 12 miles north of Denton, is closed Wednesday after flooding damaged the bridge recently.Al Key
Duck Creek Road a mile west of Sanger, which is 12 miles north of Denton, is closed Wednesday after flooding damaged the bridge recently.
Al Key

As the floodgates opened more at Ray Roberts Lake on Wednesday afternoon, emergency management personnel closely monitored the potential for downstream flooding.

Denton County emergency crews were dispatched up and down the Greenbelt Corridor once rain began to fall early Wednesday afternoon, Denton County Emergency Management Coordinator Jody Gonzalez said.

Clay Church, spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Fort Worth, said the rainfall Wednesday kept the agency from opening the floodgates at Ray Roberts Lake all the way, but the flow increased to 3,600 cubic feet per second by the end of the day. At capacity, 7,000 cubic feet per second would be flowing, he said.

Early Wednesday, about 2,000 cubic feet per second was flowing before the floodgates were further opened, he said.

“The rain has impacted opening the conduit all the way,” Church said late Wednesday, adding that the Corps of Engineers will reassess the situation this morning and make sure the channel capacity can hold fully opening the gates.

The Lewisville Lake dam floodgates were also opened more Wednesday, Church said. About 5,500 cubic feet per second was flowing and the integrated flood-risk management system is functioning as designed, according to Corps of Engineers reports.

Ted Ryan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, said some areas of the county received more than an inch of rain Wednesday. Denton Enterprise Airport reported four-tenths of an inch.

In the past seven days, county residents have seen 4 to 6 inches of rainfall, Ryan said.

“Some parts [of the county] received over 6 inches this past week,” he said. “It’s good news for the drought situation ... the drought will probably be ending for North Texas within the next couple weeks with all the rainfall.”

Today and Friday, only a 20 percent to 30 percent chance of rain and storms are predicted, according to the weather service.

“Saturday is our next threat for heavy rainfall and severe weather,” Ryan said. “There is a 50 to 60 percent chance of severe storms.”

Denton County Road and Bridge East and West departments were staged in different areas of the county monitoring water levels on roads overnight Wednesday as the potential for flooding lingered, Gonzalez said.

The county’s Emergency Operations Center remains open with constant communication with the Corps of Engineers, he said.

Several fire departments have firefighters out checking areas where they commonly see issues when it’s raining.

“So far there have been no other rescue missions around the rest of the county,” Gonzalez said late Wednesday.

Corey Gregory, captain of the Krum Fire Department, said the creeks in the area had gone down Wednesday, but it doesn’t take much rain for them to flood again. Krum is 7 miles northwest of Denton.

The Ray Roberts Lake flood pool is about 86 percent full, according to Church.

“We will monitor the situation and when it’s safe to open [all the way], we will,” he said. “We need to get ready for any future rain events.”

Staff writers Bj Lewis and Christian McPhate contributed to this report.

MEGAN GRAY-HATFIELD can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.