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DENTON COUNTY(CBS11) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sounded the alarm at Lake Ray Roberts Dam warning people to move away from the channel as crews prepare to ultimately send out the maximum amount of water it can out of the lake.
At its peak, 7,000 cubic feet per second will head downstream.
Lake Ray Roberts is at more than 644 feet, more than a foot higher than Thursday, and 12 feet above full.
Sherry Harwell, whose lived in Sanger for 28 years says, “The water is really higher than I’ve ever seen it.” Because of that, the lake is just two feet away from flowing on its own into the spillway for the first time ever.
If that happens, the Corps says water would flow into Culp Creek, and possibly cause flooding on properties near the Elm Fork and Clear Creek.
Harwell says she just heard the news. Culp Creek borders her property. “Right beyond that barn, all of that’s in the flood plain.”
So if water flows into Culp Creek, Harwell points to the back of her barn saying, “I would see it right there.”
But Harwell says she’s not worried her house will be flooded. “I just feel if it was really going to flood my home, it’d be in the flood plain, but it’s really not.”
Water from Lake Ray Roberts flows downstream and into Lake Lewisville, which has risen to more than 535 feet, two feet below what’s considered a 100 year flood, and the level where the Corps retains the right to hold excess water to keep it from flowing downstream into the Trinity River.
Like Lake Ray Roberts, Lake Lewisville has risen by more than one foot in the past day.
Water continues to flow on its own out of Lake Lewisville’s spillway at a rate of 11,000 cubic feet per second.
Because of that, the Corps is not releasing any water from the lake’s flood gates.
That’s because the Trinity River’s gauge at the Continental Bridge in downtown Dallas is already at capacity.
A Corps spokesman says the agency is continuing its delicate balancing act to prevent flooding and is monitoring the situation around the clock to keep people safe.
For now, the agency says its flood control system is working as designed.
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