The following is a statement from the San Jacinto River Authority on the status of Lake Conroe:
"While there is no threat to the integrity or structure of the Lake Conroe dam, the San Jacinto River Authority reports that some damage has occurred to the rip rap covering on the upstream face of the dam in limited areas. This damage does not represent any danger to the safety of the dam.
As the eye of Hurricane Ike traveled northward along I-45 through the eastern half of Montgomery County, the Lake Conroe area experienced sustained, hurricane force winds coming directly from the North at approximately 80 to 90 miles per hour. These North winds passing over the length of the lake caused five to six foot waves to break against the face of the dam causing some erosion of the protective rip rap layer in certain limited areas.
The damage incurred during Hurricane Ike is similar in nature to the type of damage that occurred during Hurricane Rita. Engineers and SJRA officials have already begun assessing the extent of the damage so that a remediation plan can be developed, but it should be noted that there is no threat to the safety of the dam and no danger of dam failure.
At the time of Hurricane Ike's approach, the water level of Lake Conroe was one foot below normal pool level, meaning that thus far the lake has been able to absorb the rainfall that has occurred and no release of water through the gates has been necessary. However, some rainfall is still forecasted to occur throughout the next day or two, and it could become necessary to begin routine releases if the lake level rises above the normal pool level. At this time, the lake is still six to eight inches below pool level.
In the coming days after the storm has passed and flood waters downstream have begun receding, it will likely be necessary to gradually lower the lake level to assess the damage to the face of the dam. This is similar to the action that was necessary following Hurricane Rita. Lake front owners are advised to take appropriate action with regard to their boats and watercraft as soon as lake conditions permit. "
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