All who have benefited by lowering the water level of Lake Conroe raise your hand!
As many times as I have asked that question over the past few months I get nothing but frowns and grumbling as a response. The reason is that just about everyone in Montgomery County knew it would have no positive impact on the people who bought houses built on land that has flooded regularly for 40 years that I can attest to.
What some folks don’t realize is when you see ‘flood plain’ in a land description you can forget what numbers put in front of it, it is going to flood. The only question is when.
So now it has been proven that lowering the water level in the lake from pool of 201 feet above mean sea level to 198 feet has had no positive impact on flooding downstream. Even with the lake level down and no water released during a couple of rains, those same areas downstream flooded just like it always has when we get a good rain. Oh, one of the main differences is now those areas have houses on them and it is funny that the presence of houses don’t have much effect on flood water.
The water level was lowered because of all of the pressure put upon the San Jacinto River Authority and other government entities between the dam and the Gulf and now they can say, ‘You got what you wanted, now what?’
Now let us examine some more man-made situations that exist and are the real causes of all of the flooding that no one wants to talk about. Before I do, let’s take a look at two irrefutable facts that are completely ignored in most attitudes toward God and our fellow man.
The two greatest commandments are quoted in Matthew 22:37, 39: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Well folks, in the name of progress these two commandments have been blown out of the water with narcissism and greed to replace God, and absolute lack of care of one’s neighbor viewing him strictly as a sheep to be sheared. That is the moral cause, now we can move onto the physical causes.
So the culprit causing the flooding of houses starts with the entities that issued the permits allowing all of the land that has always flooded to be built upon. Clear cutting of the trees and other vegetation, increasing the speed and amount of runoff into our lakes, rivers, and creeks along with copious amounts of dirt that becomes silt in the waterways has been allowed. If you don’t believe that, where do you think much of a vast amount of silt that has filled up Lake Houston has come from?
Then along with that is the rampant clear cutting of timber in Montgomery County on which thousands upon thousands of acres of concrete has been poured to build shopping centers and houses. A prime example is at Loop 336 South, west of I-45, that have always flooded, but the trees and other vegetation that absorbed a lot of potential flood water are now gone, so the water goes uncontrollably downstream.
An example of what trees do to help control flooding and rejuvenate the atmosphere is the fact that each tree absorbs from 30 to 300 gallons of water in a single day from the soil and release it into the air again as oxygen and water vapor. I haven’t started on those actions destroying habitats for all variety of animals, which also destroys the balance of nature and all of the benefits that we glean from it.
There is a prime example just south that has done a fantastic job of building with nature and that is The Woodlands. There are a couple places up in the northwestern part of the county that are building with nature also and are to be applauded.
In regards to Lake Conroe, I can assure you that our lake is silting up just like Lake Houston has done, but our lake has only recently began to have the results of the unbridled clear cutting of timber and the massive amount of dirt that is washing into the lake because of it. Unless something is done to control the mindless clear cutting, the process will just be sped up. If you doubt that we have a silt problem, ask any fishing guide who has been here for a number of years.
You have probably seen the signs around the lake encouraging folks to contact the River Authority and state government to have the water level of the lake brought back to pool of 201 feet above mean sea level. I do not know the motivation behind their request, but I do agree that the level be returned to the 201 foot level.
It is better for fishing and safer for boating than the current 198 foot level. Lake Conroe is not a flood control lake. It is a water supply lake for Conroe. With the lake three feet low, that seems detrimental to the concept of a water supply reservoir.