Spillway serving its purpose

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

As the water comes closer to flowing over the emergency spill, it serves as a reminder of what the dam is designed to do. The Denison Dam collects water from hundreds of miles away.

Areas like Wichita Falls, Duncan, Oklahoma, Waurika Lake, and other spots upstream along the Red River flow into Lake Texoma, according to Cindy Buchanan, with the Army Corps of Engineers.

Crews completed the Denison Dam in 1943, creating the 36,000 acre lake to control severe flooding along the Red River. The spillway flowed over two years later, then again in 1957 and 1990, according to the National Weather Service.

Wednesdays families spent their Independence Days waiting for history unfold again.

"The first time I was out here with my dad in 1957 when it was going over," said Jim White, a Denison resident. White came to the spillway overlook with his children and grandchildren to check the water's progress.

Tracy Cathcart was peeking over the overlook fence with her two children.

"I saw it in 1990 go over and I just brought them out to they could see it," Cathcart said.

While most spectators come to the overlook to catch a snapshot of the water, some are going even closer, wading through the waters covering FM 1310.

"The lake hasn't reached its full level yet, so there's still water flowing in, plus there's a lot of dangerous debris in the water," Buchanan said.

As the water continues to edge closer and closer to making history a fourth time.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous Location: Sherman on Jul 6, 2007 at 09:11 PM
    I perdict it will go over in the middle of the night tonight or early in the morning 7-7-07 but I could be wrong
  • by richard Location: butcher pen on Jul 6, 2007 at 05:47 AM
    David is correct. I also witnessed the 1957 runover at the spillway and saw the sod wash away from the spillway for the first time. I suppose the people reporting the spillover for 1945 era didn' t realize the lake wasn't even full at the time.
  • by DLB Location: Denison on Jul 5, 2007 at 07:33 PM
    I'm sure "anonymous" means Hwy 91, not 691. To answer his/her question, 91 wasn't shut down "for months" thanks to Ross Perot who got permission from the state to build a temp. bridge across Shawnee Creek. When the state (months later) built their bridge, Mr. Perot's bridge was removed.
  • by Karen Location: Ft Worth, TX on Jul 5, 2007 at 07:21 PM
    I was at the dam three hours ago, and even though the flood gates are wide open, the water will go over the spillway if it hasn't already.
  • by JENN Thomas Location: Russell, Ks. on Jul 5, 2007 at 03:29 PM
    All of my friends and family are there and I would like to know the affects of the spillway going over and what it is going to be like for all of the people in Denison. The live video feed you have on your site is not loading for me either. I am trying to keep up with your news from here.
  • by annonymous on Jul 5, 2007 at 02:42 PM
    When the spillway goes over... will 91 be closed? Or just 1310?
  • by Cyndi Location: Durant on Jul 5, 2007 at 01:39 PM
    Your live spillway feed will not load, and I have a fast connection...I think you should go into more detail about what the effects will be if it does go over.
  • by Barbizon Location: Plano on Jul 5, 2007 at 01:06 PM
    I have my doubts about flood waters cresting the spillway, considering the amount of water currently being released.
  • by debbie Location: howe on Jul 5, 2007 at 12:07 PM
    my family and i went to the spillway and it was about a foot away from going over
  • by mw Location: denison, twxas on Jul 5, 2007 at 12:04 PM
    i was at spillway on the 4th and witnessed 2 people walking the entire length of the spillway next to the water on the top as onlookers were commenting on how ignorant they were. it looked to be a father and young son. i thought this was illegal. plenty of law enforcement was there but nothing was done. if this flows over as i saw in 1990, you may find these people in another state in the red river.
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