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Corps of Engineers issue dire warning to Jefferson County regarding historic Dam B release - KJAS.COM: Local News

Corps of Engineers issue dire warning to Jefferson County regarding historic Dam B release

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Posted: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 7:42 pm

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a dire warning to officials in Jefferson County on Wednesday. As the flood gates at Dam B opened to 50,000 cubic feet of water per second (CFS) being released, and the imminent threat of raising the gates wide open, the Corps is telling those in Jefferson County “Brace for this, be prepared”.

The Corps of Engineers’ Fort Worth District Office on Wednesday issued a press release, calling this a “historic discharge” from B.A. Steinhagen Lake.

Word of this came as waves were actually going over the spillway, and County Judge Mark Allen said that water was coming into the lake faster than they could release it out.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Allen said that although the release rate was 50,000 CFS, the water from the Neches River upstream was flowing into the lake at 60,000 CFS.

Judge Allen on Wednesday issued a mandatory evacuation of all residents in low lying areas along the Neches River south of Dam B down to Evadale, and also a 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. curfew for that same area under the evacuation order. Allen said both orders will remain in effect until further notice.

As for Lake Sam Rayburn, the Corps said that body of water is still ok, and Rayburn still has the entire flood pool available to hold flood water. The Corps said the only releases from Sam Rayburn in the near future will be for power generation to maintain service for the Powerhouse, and those releases will only be 500 CFS.

Meanwhile, with a historic massive release of water from Dam B, one can’t help but wonder what this will do to the already flood ravaged areas of Evadale, Beaumont, Port Neches, and Groves.