The flood waters are starting to roll back at Lake Ray Roberts, but leaders don’t expect things to be back to normal there for months.
On Thursday the Army Corps of Engineers continued to release water from the lake’s flood gate at a rate of about 7400 cubic feet per second. Corps spokesperson Clay Church said the lake remains about 3 feet above its flood pool and about 10 feet about what they consider the normal elevation level of 632.50 feet.
He said at the current rate they’re seeing the level drop about a foot every 3 days.
The drop in elevation has allowed city and county leaders around the lake to open many roads back up including a closure that existed on Highway 377, but state parks and boat launches at the lake remain closed and still under significant amounts of water.
Church said despite the impacts on parks and lake businesses the reservoirs have performed as they should during the flood event by lessening downstream consequences and balancing the health of Ray Roberts, the Trinity River, and the other lakes in the system as each releases downstream at a rate that won’t overwhelm the others further.
The focus now for the Corps is lowering those flood and conservation pools down before any more rain hits so that they can clean up and repair damage left behind.
Church said boats that are already on the lake can still use it and the Corps plans to reopen boating on Lewisville as well Friday, but he warned lake goers to assess the safety risk first before going out. The flooding has displaced a lot of animals that can pose a threat and has added debris and hazards to the lake that could be harmful.
Efforts to lower lake levels to normal will likely last into the summer.