Commissioners want LCRA to lower Lake LBJ

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

Burnet County commissioners have authorized County Judge James Oakley to draft a letter to LCRA, requesting the lowering of Lake LBJ next January.

Commissioners cited homeowners' concerns about being able to shore up their boat docks and moorings, as well as drastic changes to the lake from the historic October 2018 flood, which have created unnavigable hazards for boaters.

They also noted that two Llano County commissioners, Peter Jones (Pct. 1) and Mike Sandoval (Pct. 3), also supported lowering the lake to let homeowners perform repairs to their property. (See related story, page 14).

Jim Wade, who owns a home on Lake LBJ in Kingsland near Lookout Mountain, told Burnet County commissioners that, with the help of a crane, he pulled 30,000 pounds of debris from the lakebed behind his home earlier this year when the Lower Colorado River Authority lowered the lake for eight weeks, but he spent most of his time working on his home.

“I have lived there for more than 20 years and this was the worst flood we have seen since that time,” Wade said. “It wiped out the first floor of our home, and we're still not done with the work, and we've already spent $125,000 to fix our house.”

Wade said the amount of time the lake was lowered earlier this year was not sufficient enough to help homeowners with what needed to be done.

“We need to get out there and shore up our docks, and we need buoys in the water to help stop people from coming too close to our docks and shoreline,” Wade said. “I am absolutely in favor of lowering the lake again and lowering it more because it is almost impossible to clear away enough debris and clean up enough when the lake is lowered just four feet.”

LCRA has stated drawdowns on Lake LBJ are dependent on the winter water levels in Lake Buchanan, since floodgates must be opened at Buchanan to allow LBJ, which is downriver, to refill when any drawdown ends. . . .

Read more about the request to lower Lake LBJ in the Wednesday, Sept. 4 issue of the Burnet Bulletin, the newspaper of record for northern Burnet County. Email a note to lew@highlandernews.com or savanna@burnetbulletin.com. To subscribe, call 512-756-6136.

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