Corps balances high lake level, flooding downstream when releasing from Lake Texoma

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DENISON, Tex. (KXII) - As of Thursday, Lake Texoma remains over seven feet above normal but still 14 feet away from its spillway.

The Corps is currently releasing about three times the amount of water that's flowing into the lake.

Deputy Chief of Public Affairs for the Corps Preston Chasteen says they want to let out as much water as they can without flooding areas along the Red River downstream.

"If it's been raining downstream and we don't have the channel capacity to release safely, they will hold the water until there is enough space downstream," said Chasteen.

Chasteen said the Tulsa District Office says even if the banks along the lake do flood, those areas are ready.

"And that's exactly what these reservoirs are built and designed to do. Even our campgrounds are designed to go underwater if necessary in order to keep and help us prevent flooding downstream when possible," said Chasteen.

Park ranger Sarah Noel says even though the lake's going down, it's still high enough at 626 feet to hide dangers lurking below the surface.

"Sometimes we have trunks in the lake or branches in the lake, or even if a dock got torn up, watch out for unforeseen structures that are below the water," said Noel.

And when it does rain like it did Wednesday, the Corps said they'll release less water from the lake.

"So we may be receiving a much greater amount of water than we are releasing, and that's due to the fact we don't want to overwhelm the downstream channel capacity," said Chasteen.

Chasteen says barring more rain in the lake's watershed, the army corps of engineers will slowly close the floodgates in the coming weeks.