Lake Houston temporarily lowered in preparation of Hurricane Laura

Lake Houston will be lowered tonight in preparation for Hurricane Laura. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lake Houston will be lowered tonight in preparation for Hurricane Laura. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Lake Houston will be lowered tonight in preparation for Hurricane Laura. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Houston Public Works has begun temporarily lowering Lake Houston's water level in preparation for Hurricane Laura, according to an Aug. 25 news release from Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin's office. Homeowners along Lake Houston who have not already secured property on the shoreline should do so now, per the release.

The lake is currently at 41.6 feet above mean sea level, and water will be slowly released from the dam the evening of Aug. 25 to get to and maintain a level of 41 feet.

The lake normally sits at 42.4 feet above mean sea level; however, the lake level is lower due to the ongoing Lake Houston dam rehabilitation project at the dam site, Community Impact Newspaper reported.

Erin Jones, public information officer for Houston Public Works, said via email in June that the lake will remain at roughly 41.5 feet until the final inspection on the Lake Houston dam rehabilitation project is completed.

Lake Conroe, an upstream reservoir, already sits below its normal pool level at 199.76 feet above mean sea level, according to the San Jacinto River Authority, which manages Lake Conroe dam operations. The Lake Conroe dam is currently not releasing water, according to the SJRA's website.


Lake Conroe is being temporarily lowered seasonally in April and May and August and September until December 2022, per an resolution approved in February by the SJRA board of directors. The lake is lowered to help reduce flooding downstream, such as in the Lake Houston area, while flood mitigation projects can be completed.

If a storm enters the region, the city of Houston has the ability to initiate an additional pre-release to 199 feet by notifying the SJRA in writing, Community Impact Newspaper reported.
By Kelly Schafler

Managing editor, South Houston

Kelly joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2017 after majoring in print journalism and creative writing at the University of Houston. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor for the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition and began covering the Spring and Klein area as well in August 2020. In June 2021, Kelly was promoted to South Houston managing editor.