No release gates available for Lake Amon G. Carter

2015 flooding at Lake Amon Carter. (FIle photo)
A photo of the spillway from the lake overflow this week at Lake Amon G. Carter. (Courtesy photo)

Each time Lake Amon G. Carter closes due to heavy rainfall many residents demand to know why the city won’t “open the gates” to release water from the lake to alleviate flooding.
The answer is simple, the lake does not operate with gates like some of the much larger bodies of water, such as Lake Bridgeport. Public Works Director Dean Grant said there is a small valve to allow water to be transferred to Eagle Mountain Lake if the Tarrant Regional Water District calls for their allotment of water.
Recent years have brought heavy spring rains which have caused flooding across the county.
The lake was closed on May 2 due to heavy rains. One week ago the lake was at 924.04 mean sea level and as of noon on Friday it was at 922.94. It is considered full at 920. City officials have said it will not reopen until it drops back to at least 920.

The lake and its mechanism are doing what they were designed to do in regard to overflow and discharge. The dam specifications state the maximum discharge from overflow is 149,600 gallons per minute.
Built in 1956 by the City of Bowie, Lake Amon G. Carter was modified in 1983 when the Bowie Reservoir side was constructed by the city and the two lakes connected with the boat pass/balancing conduit (tunnel).
The principal spillway drop outlet is located in what is called the lower dam on the newer side of the lake. This outlet tower rises out of the lake and has two concrete sides and two open sides with grizzly bars.

Read the full story about how the lake mechanisms operate in your weekend Bowie News.