Lake Tawakoni Above Normal

Article By: Timna Rutledge
Van Zandt Newspapers, Staff Writer, July 6, 2007

Water, at Lake Tawakoni, continues to steadily flow over the spillway as rainfall totals have continued to rise this summer. Lake Tawakoni is already above average for their normal level. Photo by Glenn McNeill Jr.

With recent heavy rains, lake levels are up all over the state, and Lake Tawakoni is no exception, with the July 5, pool elevation level recorded 2.14 feet above normal.

Despite water washing over the lake’s uncontrolled spillway that flows down the Sabine River, and on to Toledo Bend Sabine River Authority Regional Manager Butch Choate said, "We’re pretty excited right now. We’ve got a full lake."

Considering the lake level one year ago, authorities are very pleased that we are going into what is typically the driest months of the year, July, August, and September, with full reservoirs.

In fact, on July 5, 2006, Lake Tawakoni’s conservation pool elevation was 430.23 compared to a normal pool elevation level of 437.5.

Last year’s recorded 12 ½ foot low occurred in December. In March of 2007, the lake was still six feet low.

With water washing over county roads, and several residents being temporarily stranded on their property, up the creek without a paddle, so to speak, Choate said, "It looks like the drought may be broken in northeast Texas."

Not concerned about homes

in the Tawakoni area flooding, Choate explained that the lake would have to rise another 10 feet before residents would have cause for concern.

"There’s no danger of any homes around Lake Tawakoni flooding," he said.

However, he was quick to add that some homes downstream, along the Sabine River, might be more susceptible to water damage.

Currently, the pool elevation of Toledo Bend is 171.62. The normal elevation level is 172.00. This is significant, because Lake Tawakoni’s outflow travel’s down the Sabine River, and on to Toledo Bend.

Choate remained optimistic, though he explained in summary, "We (at Lake Tawakoni) have an uncontrolled spillway without any flood gates, so as the lake comes up, the more water goes over the spillway, and the more rain we get, the more the water comes up."

With more rain in the local forecast, many are concerned about their water-drenched property, and others are just thankful their tanks are full and their yards and pastures are green again.