LCRA to partially open floodgate during Max Starcke Dam work

Max Starcke Dam

The Lower Colorado Rive Authority is temporarily changing how it releases water through Max Starcke Dam as crews complete planned maintenance to the facility. The LCRA will partially open one flood gate for routine water releases for downstream needs and to maintain lake levels. However, in the event of rain or storm runoff, the LCRA could change how much and when they release water. Check the LCRA’s website for up-to-date dam operation information. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

With crews conducting planned maintenance at Max Starcke Dam for several weeks, the Lower Colorado River Authority is temporarily changing how it releases water through the structure.

Beginning the week of February 17, the LCRA will make routine water releases every few days as part of normal operations, but it will partially open one of the floodgates at Max Starcke Dam on Lake Marble Falls to do so. In regular operations, the LCRA would pass these water releases through hydroelectric generation.

However, with the maintenance work, the hydroelectric generation will be unavailable until about mid-March.

According to the LCRA, these routine releases can occur several times a week and last for several hours at a time. Officials will try to schedule such releases during daytime hours.

The LCRA will sound the siren before partially opening the floodgates, which is standard to any release through a floodgate.

“Routine releases to maintain lake levels and provide water for customer needs will be below levels that would cause flooding,” according to the LCRA. “As always, the public should exercise caution and avoid being in the water near the dams.”

The LCRA, however, pointed out that operational plans could change with additional rain and storm runoff.

“Unscheduled releases from the Highland Lakes dams may occur suddenly and unexpectedly due to emergency hydroelectric generation or other reasons,” according to the LCRA’s flood operation report.

Farther upstream, the LCRA will begin refilling Inks Lake and Lake LBJ on Monday, February 24. In January, the LCRA lowered Lake LBJ by 4 feet and Inks Lake by 8 feet from their normal operating ranges to allow lakeside property owners to clean up and do maintenance due to damage from the October 2018 flood.

Property owners and construction crews need to get their equipment and tools out of the lakebed by Sunday evening, February 23.

The refill will occur at a rate of about 1-2 feet a day and will finish by Friday, February 28.

editor@thepicayune.com

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