Witness to history: Water tops Lake Texoma Spillway for fourth time 58 years

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DENISON, Texas -- For the fourth time in its history, water topped the Lake Texoma Spillway on Sunday morning at 640 feet above sea level.

The Denison Dam, which was built during World War II by German prisoners of war housed in Oklahoma and Texas, was finished in 1944. It's role was to control flooding along the Red River. It has topped the spillway in 1957, 1990, 2007, and 2015.

To get above the spillway, water must be 640 feet above sea level. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the dam, the flood control pool for the lake is considered full at 617.34 feet above sea level.

Water made its way over the top at approximately 4 a.m. Sunday. Col. Richard Pratt of the Army Corps of Engineers said at the time the water topped the spillway, water was flowing into Lake Texoma at 300,000 cubic feet per second.

"Our estimates, based upon what is on the ground is the lake will top out at 642 feet," Pratt said. "I think it will be higher, though because of all the rain.

Pratt said water flows over the spillway and takes a path back into the Red River, so it is not a danger to those living in Denison.

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