Heavy rains on the Lake Brownwood watershed have quickly raised the level of Lake Brownwood this week, prompting the closing of the lake to boat traffic for safety reasons.
The lake level has risen at least 3 feet in just over two days, John Chisholm, general manager of the Brown County Water Improvement District No. 1, said Tuesday afternoon.
“That helps prevent some possible damage along the shore, because the docks become unstable at that level,” Chisholm said.
The lake level, which was just a fraction over the spillway at midnight Monday, surged to 1.5 feet above spillway within 24 hours, and was at 3.1 feet above spillway Wednesday night.
The spillway is 1,425.0 feet above sea level. The level was 1,428.1 Wednesday night, and it was still rising.
“The Jim Ned was running bank full, and the Pecan Bayou was almost bank full late Wednesday morning,” Chisholm said. “But they weren’t out of their banks.”
James Cook, emergency management coordinator for the City of Brownwood, said city government and related agencies were on standby as waters continued to flow swiftly along the Pecan Bayou, south of Lake Brownwood and through Brownwood and along its border with Early.
“We’re watching it closely. The National Weather Service predicts the lake will go about three-and-a-half feet above spillway, and if that’s what happens, we’ll be all right,” Cook said about potential flooding in the city. “We start to become concerned when the lake is four feet up.”
Heavy rains overnight Monday and Tuesday have flooded areas from the Red River to Austin, and Eastland County has been among the hardest hit regions. Runoff swamped several neighborhoods near downtown Rising Star Tuesday morning, and problems continued Wednesday.
The Texas Department of Public Safety listed five Eastland County highways that were closed due to high water, including FM 2214 south of Eastland, FM 2461 south of Ranger, FM 570 and FM 571 at Lake Leon, East Main Street from the river to Wal-Mart in Eastland, and the Interstate 20 exit ramps to Highway 6 in Eastland.
Some evacuations were required in Eastland before dawn Tuesday, DPS Senior Trooper Sparky Dean of Abilene said.