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Jun 2018 News

Lake McQueeney - Know your Lake be Safe!
Click here for Lake McQueeney Map. 

GBRA/FOLM- Update April 24, 2018

GBRA/FOLM- Update April 24, 2018
 In 2016 one of the gates on theLake Wood dam was damaged beyond repair when there was relatively low flow. Thechain reaction began with a failure of the top brace of one side. Next, theother top braces broke, this was followed by internal pressure causing theentire gate to break loose from its concrete foundation. The damage to the gatemade the entire dam totally unusable for its intended purpose. See photo.

A catastrophic failure on onesection of the gates on Lake McQueeney similar to Lake Wood’s gate could resultin injury or death to personnel downstream, especially those on Lake Placid,not to mention property damage, and years of repair/replacement. There ismainly farmland below Lake Wood.

FOLM has coordinated for monthson the options available, such as working on Lake Gonzales first (up to 9months work) this summer followed by McQueeney; however in the event of a highwater event, the risks of losing a gate would be catastrophic for years. Thereare no good options worth the risk.

Following the 2016 failure ofthe H-5 “Lake Wood” dam, leadership at GBRA began a process of repairing thegates at the hydroelectric dams:

  • Replacement of both gates at Lake Wood dam with modern hydraulic crest gates is estimated to be nine million dollars and take 2 years to construct/install.
  • GBRA’s sole source of revenue for operating, maintaining, and replacing gate infrastructure is from the sale of hydro-electric generated electricity to GVEC.
  • GBRA currently does not have the funds or revenue from the sale of electricity to fund the replacement gates at Lake Wood or the other dams. Current repairs are funded from a temporary GBRA intra-fund loan.
  • GBRA Engineers were asked by management to complete repairs on the 90 year old existing dams to replace the components that failed at Lake Wood in order to preserve the lakes and GBRA’s ability to generate/sell hydro-electricity. The engineers also recommend order of repair on the dams based on concerns of failure. In order of priority was Lake Nolte, Placid, McQueeney, and Gonzales. Lake Dunlap’s has already had repairs in 2010 and 2012.
  • Work began on gates on Lake Nolte and Placid in August 2017 with the expectation all dams would be completed prior to Memorial Day 2018; however, delays due to Hurricane Harvey and other weather conditions/needs of each gate has continued to push the timeframes longer.
  • The repairs also include replacement of structural steel inside the dam which is based on an evaluation by a structural engineer once the repair crews are inside the dam. Because the amount of replacement steel needed is not known in advance, a detailed schedule for completion at each dam cannot be generated.
  • Repairs at McQueeney will take at least 6 months and could be much longer depending on weather delays and the amount of steel to replace.
  • Currently the National Weather Service (NWS) indicates we are in an El Nino pattern, which usually means drier conditions for our area; however, NWS is also predicting a shift towards a La Nina pattern this fall which trends towards higher rainfall for our region. Due to the current lower flows, now is an opportune time to complete the work, whereas if delayed until fall, chances of heavy rains or flooding increase, as does a failure similar to gates on Lake Wood.
  • GBRA does not recommend delaying the work schedule. An event similar to the floods in past years could trigger such a failure.
  • If the work on Lake McQueeney is delayed and work begins on Lake Gonzales, it could be six to nine months or later before work on McQueeney begins, and that could take well over six months and go into the summer of 2019.
  • With the water down 18 – 24” more than 50% of the lake is navigable.
  • The Lake McQueeney Dam is estimated date for repairs may be as early as May 29, 2018.
  • A 30 day notice will be provided by GBRA when they have a firm start date.

Photo of the Lake Wood Damafter the catastrophic gate failure in 2016.

 

Lake McQueeney Dam Repairs

Lake McQueeney Dam Repairs
From your Friends of Lake McQueeney Board of Directors:

FOLM continually works with GBRA (Guadalupe Blanco River Authority) to improve conditions on the lake. GBRA has begun repair activities on area lakes, spill gates, and dams to address critical components that are in need of immediate repair. Due to the nature of these repairs, a strict timetable of work expected for each spill gate has not been feasible, but work is expected to take at least six months at each dam.

Based on the current progress, GBRA believes repairs at Lake McQueeney will begin as soon as the end of May. To assist affected property owners in planning for lowered lake levels, GBRA will begin lowering the lake on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. The lake level is expected to be down 18-24 inches for the duration of the repair activities. The main river channel should be available for activity. We appreciate your understanding of the situation.

To read the entire article, click here.

Please Pick Up After Your Pet

Please Pick Up After Your Pet
Would you walk your dog and allow your dog to go "potty" on a neighbor’s lawn and leave it there for their children to step on and for them to pick up? Of course not! Believe it or not, that is what some pet owners do.

It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Picking up your pooch’s poop is a part of responsible dog ownership. Besides just being considerate towards others, there are some pretty important reasons why you should always pick up after your pet.

Studies show that animal waste, especially from dogs, plays a roll in polluting our waters. Runoff from our cities and towns carries bacteria and nutrients from decaying animal waste into our water systems where the introduced bacteria can cause illness. Dog poop left outside can cause parasite and disease transmission to other pets, and even to wild animals. Dog poop left outside can also attract unwanted visitors, such as mice, rats, and insects.

In many areas, cleaning up after your dog is the law! If caught not scooping the poop, you could be faced with paying a fine. Cleaning up after your pet is just common courtesy. You are the one who decided to get a dog, so you should be the one to take responsibility to clean up after it. You never know, if you set a good example, other dog owners in your area might also take the initiative to clean up after their pets too.

Jun 2018
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