Draining of four lakes along Guadalupe River delayed

GBRA wanted lakes drained Monday; hearing to resume then

SAN ANTONIO – A judge put a temporary halt Wednesday to the draining of four lakes along the Guadalupe River. 

The draining was scheduled for Monday but the judge halted it until he issues a ruling, which won't happen until at least next week.

The judge heard arguments in Guadalupe County from lawyers representing residents who live along the lakes and the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority.

The residents have filed two lawsuits that seek in part to stop the drainage of McQueeney, Placid, Meadow and Gonzales lakes. The river authority believes the dams on those lakes create a safety hazard after spillgate failures at Lake Wood and Lake Dunlap.

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Among the witnesses who testified for lake residents was James Lee Murphy III, a former GBRA executive.

Murphy testified the river authority made some moves regarding water rights that resulted in losing leverage to secure funding for the dams.

"I believe that was taken advantage of by the current leadership of GBRA. I believe (leaders) deliberately are trying to create a fait accompli, so they can say, 'Look, there's nothing we can do about the lakes," Murphy said. 

The hearing will resume Monday.

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