Lake Placid being evaluated due to unresponsive spill gate

Construction on new upgrades to Lake Placid’s dam is set to start in early 2022

GUADALUPE COUNTY, Texas – The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) is investigating a failed spill gate at Lake Placid after it failed to operate on the heels of the recent flooding event.

Officials say it was the flooding that put them in this current predicament. River levels can be so low that jetskis are left stranded on rocks, and boat ramps are dewatered.

Lindsey Campbell, the communications manager of GBRA, said to control the water level during the flooding that happened two weeks ago, they had to lower the two spill gates at Lake Placid’s dam as standard protocol.

This will allow the pass flows to go downstream at the same rate they enter the lake upstream to protect the dam and prevent flows from overtopping the embankments.

When the flooding stopped, and it was time to raise the spill gates again to their normal 12 feet, one of the gates failed to operate.

Residents who live near and visit the lake had different views about seeing the water levels so low.

“It is a shame,” said Austin Hardiman, who lives nearby. “I think they need to fix this issue soon.”

“As a kayak fisherman, it is ideal because the powerboats are not there anymore,” said Jon Lindley. “So it is great for kayak fishermen, but for the people who live there and want to ski or come visit and have recreation, then they are out of luck.”

Because the spill gates are nearly a century old, decades past their initial lifespan, residents feel this is an issue that could have been given more attention a long time ago.

The GBRA completed the design phase for the dam at Lake Placid and Lake McQueeny in September. It said even if crews fix the current unresponsive spill gate and the water levels return to normal, it will only be temporary until construction starts in 2022.

At this time, the GBRA’s engineers and engineers with a third-party company are still evaluating if the spill gate can be fixed. They hope to get those findings within the next week.

Updates will be provided via GVLakes.com as soon as they become available.

A more technical explanation about the spill gates is available below or by clicking here.


About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray is a reporter with KSAT12 News.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.