Addicks and Barker pool elevations extend beyond government owned land

Published Aug. 29, 2017

GALVESTON, Texas (Aug. 28, 2017) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District announced today, water from Addicks and Barker dams extends beyond government-owned reservoir land. 

As of 5 p.m. today, the pool elevation at Addicks Reservoir reached approximately 105 feet, which is up from about 103 feet from a previous measurement; while the pool elevation at Barker Reservoir is approximately 99 feet, which is up a foot from its previous reading.  These are both record highs; above the April, 2016 pool levels which reached 102.7 feet and 95.24 feet, respectively. 

To date, approximately 30 inches of rain has fallen in the watersheds upstream of Addicks and Barker.  Estimates from the National Weather Service on rainfall above the reservoirs from today through the remainder of this tropical event is about 10 inches.  This estimate is down from the previous 25 inch estimate from yesterday. 

“Based on the range of uncertainty of rainfall rates and totals, overflow of the northern Addicks spillway has potential to occur in the early morning hours tomorrow, Aug. 29, with flows migrating toward Buffalo Bayou along the Beltway 8 corridor and crossing I-10,” said Edmond Russo, Galveston District deputy engineer.

Releases from Addicks and Barker constitute about 20 percent of the total flow of Buffalo Bayou, with the remaining 80 percent attributable to watershed runoff below the dams into the bayou network. 

“As of 5 p.m., these discharge rates are approximately 3,800 cfs and 3,500 cfs, respectively, for a combined total of 7,300 cfs,” said Russo.  The goal is to reach release rates of 4,000 cfs at both dams for a combined discharge down Buffalo Bayou of about 8,000 cfs.” 

We estimate the dams will approach this target combined discharge rate tomorrow.  No decisions have been made to increase planned discharge rates above this amount.  Dam releases are expected to occur for several months following this storm event.

With rainfall still occurring in downstream reaches of Buffalo Bayou and tributaries, as well as with the discharge of water from Addicks and Barker, the elevation of the bayou is holding fairly steady and may take several days to recede.

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Randy Cephus
Breeana Moore

Release no. 17-032