Newton County comissioners discuss lowering water levels at Toledo Bend

Newton county commissioners are planning to discuss lowering the river levels at Toledo Bend with the Sabine River Authority at a later date.

NEWTON COUNTY - Newton county commissioners are planning to discuss lowering the river levels at Toledo Bend with the Sabine River Authority at a later date.

Residents complained that the high levels may have caused flooding after Harvey and in Deweyville in 2016.

"We've gotten a 100 year flood two times in two years. You don't want to go through something like that more than once in a lifetime,” she said Raquel Foster.

Foster said two inches of water flooded inside her home during Harvey which forced her to fix up her Bon Weir  for the second time.

She thinks the flooding could have been avoided if the water levels in Toledo Bend had been lowered by the Sabine River Authority.


"We feel like there is a little more they can do or should be doing to take care of people south of that dam," said Foster.

Newton County commissioners discussed approaching the SRA about lowering the lake levels, but decided to gather more scientific data first.

County Judge Paul Price says if they receive help from state and federal government they could build a dam at Big Cow Creek and the Sabine River

“It seems like if you had other dams with free board space, it could hold heavy water during other storms that would also help mitigate flooding,” the judge said.

Price said they are also looking at research regarding the Kansas City Southern Railway Company in Deweyville and how it affects flooding. He believes the railroad tracks trap in water which causes flooding in the area.

“The water goes down and if the railroad has been raised over time that portion acts like a dam, if you have debris settle in the river that makes that portion of the river more shallow and maybe the combination of both of those and the weather patterns changing with all the water coming down, when it hits it immediately goes to the west into the Deweyville area,” said Price.  

Foster said ever since Harvey she’s been watching the lake levels like a hawk. She said she wants the water levels to get lowered so she can live comfortably in her home.


"If those levels are going to be kept high we need to take some precautionary measures on our end to keep from being flooded if they are not going to be responsible, said Foster.

Judge Price said the Sabine River Authority’s operating range at the South Toledo Bend dam is from 162 to 172 ft.

He believes 1,800 homes received major flood damage after Harvey.

There has not been a commissioner meeting date set for discussing the water levels, but Judge Price says the commissioners will be researching more about the flooding.

 

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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