Lake Texoma's dam was closed in 1942, and the lake was primarliy constructed to prevent the long history of catastrophic floods the region is famous for over the last 170 years since the first permanent settlement in 1845 at the Fort Preston Trading Post river crossing.
The Watershed extends west into the Texas panhandle and north into most of Southwestern Oklahoma, or about the size of the State of Connecticutt. Only the top end of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River that begins north of the Gainesville City Limit signs on I-35 draw significant water off the Red River, and the Ouchita River basin in Oklahoma drains areas from west of Hwy 75 at Durant to north of Purcell to the Texas line.
The lake is unsual in that it has 2 seaonal Pool Levels, Summer & Winter. The Summer Pool level is 617 to 619 feet above sea level. The winter Pool Level is lower to accomodate the Spring rains at 613 to 615.
Large parts of the Texoma Watershed have been in extreme drought conditions for over 5 years, only 2013's massive tornado system with 40+ touchdowns that devasted Oklahoma created any sizable rain relief, and reached the Texoma Summer Pool, but was short lived. I pulled my boat out of my boathouse on Oct 1st '13, at the end of my Realtors Sales Contract when the lake level hit the bottom of the Winter Pool.
Approx 90 days ago I could and did walk around on dry ground behind my boathouse.
The Army Corps of Engineers owns Lake Texoma, and their property line is at 645' above sea level. The 1/2 mile long Spillway, beside and in front of the Dam, is at 640'.
There have only been 4 previous overtoppings of the Spillway, according to a longtime local who worked weekends & summers on the Dam as a HS teenager from 1939-40 to the Dam Closing in 1942... 1947, 1957 I think someone said, 1991 my neighbors have said when the water level reached 643+ and people fished 50' in front of his house, 2007 when the lake level reached 641 1/2 - although the flood of 2009 reached 638+' but did not go over the Spillway, and now in May 2015.
In the past, and I expect again this time, the Corps has held the flood water to prevent as much as possible furthe downstream flooding. I know as I was involved, the 2007 Flood at Spillway + Levels was held from May to October to allow the Lower Red River and the Arkansas Ouchita River that originates aroud the Hot Springs area, to drain first, preventing the flooding of Baton Rouge, New Orleans ( and possible back flooding of all the towns NORTH of the Red/Ouchita junction like Vicksburg up to Memphis) as well as all the Texas & Louisiana towns between Lake Texoma and the Ouchita Junction east of Monroe.
This 2015 Flood makes 3 signicant Floods - 2007, 2009, & 2015 in just the last 10 years since I've lived on the Lake....with signicant Severe drought years in between.
I am more concerned about this years Flood than in the past, as I don't believe the Corps Property Line of 645' will contain the 2015 Flood and set new records of continuing damage. Lots of local homeowners & businesses , as I have, have their homes just above the 645 level.
Edited by WileyCoyote (05/24/15 09:07 AM)
Remember Aesops Fables of the "Scorpion & and the Frog's" crossing the river...
... we must hang together, or we will ALL hang seperately, Ben Franklin..
Those who fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat it,Santayana