Expert panel initials first report on Guadalupe Valley Lakes restricted zones

A 12-month injunction remains in place on the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority's decision to drain four Guadalupe Valley Lakes. The first step in the court case, a three-expert panel determined restrictions for recreational activity on each of the lakes Oct. 21.

A 12-month injunction remains in place on the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority's decision to drain four Guadalupe Valley Lakes. The first step in the court case, a three-expert panel determined restrictions for recreational activity on each of the lakes Oct. 21.

Image description
Prohibited zone1
Image description
Prohibited zone2
Image description
prohibited zone3
Image description
Prohibited zone4
Image description
Prohibited zone5
Image description
Prohibited zone6
Image description
Prohibited zone7
Image description
Prohibited zone8
A court-commissioned, impartial panel of three experts has issued their first conclusions in a study about possible danger zones on four of the six Guadalupe Valley Lakes.

The panel concluded that a single gate failure resulting in a maximum flow of between 11,000 cubic-feet per second and 13,000 cubic-feet per second was the most likely scenario at each dam and that “cascading failures” of gates located at dams downstream are unlikely.

“It is the opinion of the independent expert panel that a ‘sunny day’ gate failure, i.e. a gate failure occurring during non-high-flow periods, is the critical scenario due to gates being in full upright position, elevated population at risk, and no advanced warning of the failure,” the report states. “This is deemed the most likely failure scenario … not multiple gates at one dam. The independent expert panel’s understanding … further suggests that cascading failures of gates at downstream dams would not be expected in the event of single gate failure at an upstream dam.”

In the panel’s first report, focusing on lakes and river segments between Dunlap Dam and FM 1117, it was determined that the area 900 feet upstream of the TP-3 Dam at Lake McQueeney and area 250 feet downstream should be declared a prohibited unsafe zone.

An area 800 feet upstream of the TP-4 dam near Lake Placid is now considered a prohibited unsafe zone, and an area 300 feet upstream of Son’s Island and 300 feet downstream of Hwy. 78 is now considered a restricted unsafe zone.

Downstream of the TP-4 dam, a 1,050-foot area of the Guadalupe River and Meadow Lake and a 1,200 feet area upstream of Nolte Dam are now considered prohibited unsafe zones. Elsewhere, a segment of Guadalupe River downstream of Nolte Dam up to the FM 466 crossing is now a prohibited unsafe zone, and another section of river from FM 466 to FM 1117 is now a restricted safe zone.

Based on identifiable unsafe zones, the panel prescribed new safety measures, including signage and buoys, and determined all activities on or in the water, including boating and canoeing, should be prohibited within all designated “prohibited unsafe zones.”

In addition, water activities, such as swimming, wading and tubing, are now prohibited in “restricted unsafe zones.”

The expert panel will ask for a 30-day extension to fulfill its task of establishing unsafe zones or areas unsuitable for recreational activity on four Guadalupe Valley Lakes: Lake McQueeny, Lake Placid, Meadow Lake and Lake Gonzales.

The panel is expected to make final determinations by Nov. 15 for Lake Gonzales and for an area stretching from Hwy. 80 to Gonzales CR 143.


The River House has a large outdoor patio where guests can dine and events such as Supper & A Song are held. (Chelsea Bagley/Community Impact Newspaper)
The River House in New Braunfels

Fresh, local American fare can be found at this New Braunfels eatery.

5 Stones Artisan Brewery brews beer made from locally-sourced, fresh produce. (Chelsea Bagley/Community Impact Newspaper)
5 Stones Artisan Brewery in New Braunfels

Faith and family come firsthand at this New Braunfels brew house

Apple's Mac Pro computers are assembled at a manufacturing plant in Northwest Austin. (Courtesy Apple)
Apple breaks ground on $1 billion, 3 million-square-foot campus in Northwest Austin; expects to open facility in 2022

Apple announces construction begins on $1 billion, 3 million-square-foot campus in Northwest Austin

Annual Be a Santa to a Senior program begins

Gifts must be returned to collection boxes by Dec. 9.

Downtown New Braunfels to receive an additional historic splash of color

A total of eight murals will soon depict the city's rich history.

Texas Department of Transportation plans multiple I-35 projects in New Braunfels

Four projects over the next four years will impact roughly 20 miles of the interstate.

Population growth continues in New Braunfels, Comal and Guadalupe Counties

An unprecedented level of growth has continued for the city of New Braunfels in more ways than one during 2019.

New Braunfels-based men's grooming lounge The Refinery is now open in Gruene Lake Village

The business offers services such as hair care and beard treatment.

Veteran's Day
GALLERY: New Braunfels ISD celebrates Veterans Day

Students and members of the New Braunfels High School band honored veterans.

Fischer Park in New Braunfels. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Guide: 16 events to do in and around New Braunfels

Find fun events around town for the months of November and December.

The city of New Braunfels will begin an estimated three- to four-month project on West San Antonio Street on Nov. 18. (Courtesy Fotolia)
City of New Braunfels announces San Antonio Street rehabilitation project

The project will last between three and four months.

Back to top