The Brazos River Authority and Parker County officials are working closely together to monitor the Brazos River and the potential for flooding if additional rain is received.
As of Monday, the county reported that the Brazos River had risen to 20 feet at the Dennis gauge — the flood stage is 21 feet.
“Parker County emergency management is monitoring the potential for flooding along the Brazos River. We are warning resident in flood prone areas to begin making preparations for moving to higher ground,” County Judge Pat Deen said. “The forecast calls for the chance for additional rains over the next week. Please keep an eye on the situation and as always, stay away from the banks of the river. Keep an eye on children and do not let them play near the swift moving waters.”
BRA Public Information Officer Judy Pierce said they work with the NOAA River Forecast Center to monitor Possum Kingdom Lake and are hoping to keep just two gates open at the lake’s Morris Sheppard Dam.
“We currently have two gates open at Possum Kingdom Lake and the release is about 18,600 cubic feet per second, and there is a great deal of water moving in from the north end of the lake,” Pierce said. “We work with the NOAA River Forecast Center and they have this area called the hydrologic prediction service where basically their river forecast center determines where they think the river will be. So they’re predicting that what’s coming into Possum Kingdom is going to peak [Tuesday] somewhere around 25.3 feet. If that continues in that mode, we’re hoping to be able to keep the release at two gates.”
Deen said he wants residents to be aware and not drop their guard.
“This is a serious, serious situation,” Deen said. “Three more inches is going to be a huge concern. We’re going to monitor this very closely because there’s no room for error and what I worry about are the people out there that drop their guard thinking it’s not going to flood. It’s our job to make a decision based on the data.”
Pierce said they are hoping to keep just the two gates open, but that could change.
“If we get some extensive rainfall, that may change. Any rain at this point will be a tipping point to where we may have to open a third gate,” Pierce said. “If that happens, there are some low-lying areas along the river that do experience some flooding at three gates.”
Pierce said if a third gate is opened, State Highway 16 at Possum Kingdom will be shut down.
“We’re working very closely with the emergency managers in Palo Pinto, Parker and Hood counties and keeping in close contact with them so that if we have to open a third gate, they are very well aware of it and they are very knowledgeable of the areas that are prone to flooding,” Pierce said. “Of course we’re hoping that does not happen at this point, but if we do get extra rainfall, it is a possibility.”