Request Your Free Consultation

Call us today 888.281.0945

Flooding From the Lake Conroe Dam and the West Fork of the San Jacinto River

  • Why Choose Us?

    We offer large firm experience without the extra overhead and fees and tailor each case to the individual client.

    Why Hire Our Firm?
  • Client Testimonials

    Reputation matters. Learn what former happy clients have to say about working with our law firm.

    Read Our Reviews
  • Free Consultation

    If you have a business law matter, contact our firm today to learn how we can help you best resolve it.

    Get Started Now

Flooding From the Lake Conroe Dam and the West Fork of the San Jacinto River

Hurricane Harvey's wrath was felt far and wide, after landfall at Rockport, Texas, the storm careened through Southeast Texas, and it led to homeowners and business owners being flooded as a result of releases from the Lake Conroe Dam into the West Fork of the San Jacinto River.

As the storm came in, the the San Jacinto River Authority ("SJRA") began releasing water from the Lake Conroe dam, and these releases resulted in massive flooding downstream.  The SJRA issued a series of statements regarding what it termed "controlled releases."  The Harris County Flood Control District also issued a statement about the imminent record rainfall.  

The SJRA resisted calls to prepare for the oncoming massive rainfall event by beginning to release ahead of the storm.  This would allow room for the additional rainfall runoff to accumulate in Lake Conroe behind the dam there.  In its August 24, 2017 statement issued ahead of the storm, the SJRA stated:

During major events such as this, SJRA receives numerous calls asking whether we might pre-release water from Lake Conroe. SJRA never pre-releases water from Lake Conroe prior to a storm event for numerous reasons.

• First, in order to pre-release water at a reasonably safe rate (so that it doesn’t cause flooding downstream), it would take weeks to accomplish enough drop in lake level to have any hope of buffering a major storm event.

• Second, if we did try to pre-release in advance of a storm, we would be artificially filling the river downstream and adding water to Lake Houston. If the heavy rains fell in other watersheds (which is highly likely given the relatively small size of our watershed), then we would have pre-filled the west fork of the river and Lake Houston, which could exacerbate downstream flooding problems.

• Third, if we pre-released and ended up not receiving significant rainfall in our watershed, then we would have drained critical supplies of stored water from Lake Conroe.

• Meteorologists simply cannot precisely predict how much and exactly where it is going to rain with enough notice (several weeks) to allow a safe pre-release from a reservoir.

• Dam operators strictly adhere to gate operating protocols designed by their engineers, and pre-releasing is inconsistent with those protocols for the reasons stated above.

At 12:30 a.m. on August 27, 2017, the SJRA issued another statement that:

"With approximately six inches of rainfall across the watershed over the past 24 hours, the Lake Conroe water level has risen over seven inches and exceeded normal pool elevation. SJRA operations personnel at the Lake Conroe dam are now beginning controlled releases to slowly pass a portion of the inflows coming into the lake."  The SJRA nearly doubled the highest prior rlease rate.  

As a result, the City of Conroe, and the subdivisions of River Plantation, Woodhaven Forest, Artesian, Riverbrook Drive and Sherbrook Circle, as well as neighborhoods off of FM 2854 and neighborhoods downstream from McDade Estates ordered evacuations.

It was reported that approximately 200 homes from the McDade Estates community were flooded along the West Fork of the San Jacinto River.

Murr Yanochik, P.L.L.C. continues to investigate and gather information regarding the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey and are working to assist our friends, families, and neighbors and to protect their rights. If you or a family member were impacted by the flooding caused by the release of water from the Barker and Cypress reservoir levees, as well as the Lake Conroe dam and the San Jacinto River, then we would ask that you contact us immediately through this website or by calling our offices.