Buchanan Dam gates open; state park closes

Flood gates were opened on Buchanan Dam last week to release excess water from rain received in the Colorado River basin. As a result, Inks Lake State Park was flooded and closed.

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

After buckets of rain filled the Colorado and Llano Rivers on Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Lower Colorado River Authority made the decision to open eight flood gates at Buchanan Dam to release much of the floodwaters.

This in turn created a hazard for residents living along Buchanan, Inks, Wirtz, Starcke, Mansfield, and Tom Miller dams as waters began to rush through the Highland Lakes on Tuesday evening.

To ensure the safety of its campers and visitors, officials at Inks Lake State Park decided to close their trails on Tuesday, Oct. 16 when the first four gates were opened.

Upon the next four gates being opened on Wednesday, Oct. 17, park officials made the decision to close the park entirely, moving campers out and discouraging other visitors as waters continued to rise.

“The lake is still at its maximum level and is holding steady,” said park superintendent Cory Evans on Thursday. “It is about seven and a half feet above normal lake level right now.

“Park Road 4 was also closed due to the additional water that would be up on the roadway.”

Waters rose up to many cabins along the banks of Inks Lake throughout the park, and approached the porch of the park store.

Officials originally hoped to be able to reopen the park on Friday, Oct. 26, but because the floodwaters are still slowly retreating, the park must remain closed until a date in early November.

Due to the collapse of the 2900 bridge in Kingsland on Tuesday, phone and internet lines to the park remained down as of Thursday, Oct. 18. Inks Lake State Park officials ask individuals with questions about reservations to call 512-389-8900.

The park continues to update their followers on their Facebook page as more information comes available. For more information or to view more photos of the rising water, visit the page at facebook.com/inkslakestateparktexasparksandwildlife.

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