GBRA considers draining four area lakes after spill gate failure at Lake Dunlap

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Four area lakes could be drained because of concerns about possible dam failures. Area property and business owners packed Wednesday’s board meeting of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority in Seguin, many claiming their livelihoods depend on those lakes.

The GBRA is considering significantly lowering the levels of Lake McQueeney, Lake Placid, Meadow Lake and Lake Gonzales following spill gate failures at Lake Dunlap in May and Lake Wood in 2016.

The video shows the spill gate collapse at Lake Dunlap.

The four lakes in question have similar hydroelectric dams built in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

“The video of the Dunlap spill gate collapse validates our concerns, and we are not willing to risk lives should there be another spill gate failure,” said GBRA General Manager Kevin Patteson.

The board discussed lowering the levels of the lakes by up to 12 feet, but no decision was made. Trustees did vote to conduct additional engineering inspections at Lake Dunlap in an effort to identify the cause and point of failure of the spillgate collapse and how that information can be applied to the gates at the other hydro dams.

“While no decision was made today regarding the best way to ensure public safety on the lakes, GBRA’s concerns remain,” said Patteson.

GBRA will continue to work with county and state law enforcement to identify public safety strategies that can be implemented to reduce the risk of danger to recreationalists.

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