Judge Temporarily Blocks Plans to Drain 4 Texas Lakes

A judge has temporarily blocked a water agency's plans to drain four lakes along the Guadalupe River where officials say there's a threat to public safety because of aging dams that could fail.

Judge Stephen Ables issued his order Wednesday as a court battle proceeds between the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and property owners with homes along the lakes east of San Antonio.

The authority announced last month that it would drain the lakes -- Gonzales, McQueeney, Meadow and Placid -- over concerns that their 90-year-old dams could fail.

It had intended to begin draining the lakes Monday, with water levels dropping by 12 feet.

Spill gates at two other dams overseen by the authority -- at Lake Dunlap and at Lake Wood -- previously failed.

The property owners argue the authority is an unresponsive agency that has repeatedly failed to address the dams' maintenance needs. They say property values will fall if the lakes are drained.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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