Flooding Concerns for Homeowners Near Lake

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Homeowners are watching high lake levels continue to rise.

At Lewisville Lake water is covering people’s back yards and homeowners are watching closely as it inches toward homes.

Currently, the elevation at Lewisville Lake sits at 534.39 feet, which is two feet over its flood pool. Water is currently flowing over the spillway, but the flood gates remain closed.

Flooding concerns are increasing at North Texas lakes, where the water is rising with even more rain on the way. Lewisville Lake is one area where water is dangerously close to several homes.

Sharon Battles lives off the lake in Little Elm, and her backyard is underwater. A jet ski is now floating inside her fence, and a boat she says has been dry docked nearby for seven years is now floating.

“At first it was...you enjoy it, you’re going, 'Oh look, we have water in the lake,' then it covered the dock, 'Oh, I think it’s going up more,' and then it’s, 'Oh, I think it’s coming into my yard,' and you send pictures to your friends and then jet ski was banging on the fence line, so I brought the jet ski in the yard and then I started getting scared,” Battles said.

The water is still feet from her house, which is built just behind the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers easement line at 537 feet.

“Current elevations is 534.38,” said Army Corps of Engineers Lake Manager Rob Jordan. “It only came up about an inch over the last 24 hours [but] as the lake continues to rise, there may be some private property owners that will have water on their property. But the Corps of Engineers does manage up to the 537 line and we control what is built below that 537 line, so we do manage it up to that contour, and at this point, we don’t expect the lake to get that high due to the current forecast models, but if it does we are monitoring it 24/7.”

At its highest point in history, Lewisville lake reached just below the 537 mark at 536.73 on May 4, 1990.

The Corps of Engineers says there are numerous flood control lakes, including Lewisville, which are designed to protect the Trinity River Basin from extreme flooding, and they are working right now as designed. Until the Trinity River falls below a flow of 13,000 cubic feet per second at the Commerce Street gauge, representatives at the Corps of Engineers say they don’t want to open the flood gates at Lewisville.

Water is currently being released at Lake Ray Roberts, and going over the spillway at Lewisville.

“We lowered the flood gates at Ray Roberts and decreased flow there, releasing 4,000 cubic feet per second, and we have 6,600 cubic feet per second going over the spillway at Lewisville, and these two lakes work together as a system,” Jordan said. “We can hold back at certain lakes and release from other and visa versa. We have hydrologists monitoring 400 gauges and making decisions on where it’s safe to release and when they can do so.”

If the lake levels at Lewisville continue to rise and how fast depends on how much rain we get and where it falls, according to Jordan.

And, homeowners like Battles are anxiously waiting and watching, as well.

"It’s getting better, but then we’re having another rain tonight, which mother nature, we can’t stop mother nature, but I’m extremely concerned,” Battles said.

Other homeowners along the lake tell NBC 5 they aren’t as concerned about water getting into their homes, but they’re wondering how much of a mess will be left in their yards when the water recedes.

The Corps of Engineers is also easing fears about waters rising close to major roadways like the U.S. 380 bridge and the Interstate 35E bridge.

Jordan said the water levels would have to raise much higher to put those roadways at risk.

“We’re not worried about water going over the bridges at this point,” said Jordan. “Most of those are built well above that 100 year flood line which is the 537 contour.

NBC 5's Brian Scott contributed to this report.

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