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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers talks lowering lake levels heading into summer

Lake levels
Posted at 4:20 PM, May 22, 2024

WACO, Texas — Local lakes and rivers are high now, but lake officials say they will not stay that way for the summer.

25 News spoke to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on how they’re lowering the lakes.

The bathrooms at Airport Park are underwater from recent rainfalls.

Barricades show visitors the Lake Waco Project Office boat ramp is still underwater.

"They’re closed because they’re not safe to go in — most facilities are underwater. We turn off electric, we’re waiting until goes down so we can fix things," Michael Champagne said.

The lake is at 477.6 feet above sea level.

That is 15.5 feet higher than the normal level.

The corps has already released five feet of water, but they can’t release it too fast because of cities south, like Houston, already seeing flooding.

“When we have a lot of flooding, we hold back water until we can send it downstream," Champagne said.

There have been rumors that Lower Colorado River Authority and Brazos River Authority will sell extra water from our lakes, but BRA officials say they can’t sell water to cities not already contracted with them.

But the corps will release lake water into the Brazos to get the lake back to normal levels.

“Our goal is to get water out of the lake, and to get the lake back to normal levels because we’re always waiting on the next rain event," Champagne said.

He says this is the fourth highest the lake has ever been.

The third highest was in 2016.