TEMPLE, Texas — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened floodgates on Belton, Waco, Stillhouse Hollow and Whitney lakes in Bell County, since the lakes entered flood stages. 

This has forced most of the parks on the lakes to be closed until at least mid-June. 

According to the Corps' Stillhouse Lake office, a month with no additional rain and flooding will be needed until Belton and Stillhouse Hollows lakes are back to normal levels where the parks could open back up. 

As of Monday, Stillhouse Hollow Lake was 8 feet over capacity, while Lake Belton was 11 feet over capacity, the corps said.

The problem on Lake Belton is in Brownwood: Proctor Lake's levels are so high it's releasing almost twice as much water as Lake Belton at the moment. 

Both lakes had just recently recovered from the flooding last fall when heavy rain fell again the past few weeks. 

The corps opened one of the three floodgates 6 feet on the Belton Dam. 

The corps said the floodgate was opened because there are no dams between these two and where the lakes join the Brazos River or enter the Houston area. 

So, Memorial Day plans along the Bell County lakes will have to be put on hold. 

"The lakes are still coming up," Natural Resource Specialist Park Ranger Sean Jones said. "We did just, are able to start releasing water, we just started opening water on both dams today, but it’s just not going to make a difference. Unfortunately, both lakes are going to continue to rise up."

Jones said the are could continue to see the water rise for the next week, even without rain.

The corps said the lakes are not closed, but people should be careful if they do head out to Lake Belton or Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Jones said Stillhouse Hollow Lake is in better shape than Lake Belton, since it's along the Lampasas River. 

The dam for Stillhouse Hollow Lake only has one usable flood gate, since it's being worked on. The gate was opened to 5 feet. 

The Fort Worth District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers posted on Facebook that Whitney Dam was releasing 16,055 cubic feet of water per second. That's about five times the amount of fluid the dam for Belton Lake was releasing Monday afternoon. 

As of 10 p.m. Monday, here is a look at the four major lakes in Central Texas and the amount of water they were releasing, in cubic feet per second:

051319 CTX Lake Flooding
KCEN

See the park, boat ramp and access point closures on the affected lakes below. 

Stillhouse Hollow Lake:

  • Closed parks:
    • Dana Peak 
    • Stillhouse 
      • Teardrop Pavilion is closed
    • Union Grove 
    • Overlook
    • Rivers Bend
    • Cedar Gap 
      • boat ramp closed
  • Closed access areas:
    • Chalk Ridge Falls Nature Area
  • Open boat ramps:
    • River's Bend
    • Dana Peak
    • Stillhouse
    • Union Grove

Lake Belton:

  • Closed parks:
    • Temple Lake Park 
    • Leona - road under bridge closed
    • McGregor Park 
      • Long bridge access open
    • Winkler Park
    • Arrowhead Point Park 
    • Belton Lakeview Park 
    • Cedar Ridge Park 
    • Iron Bridge Park 
    • Live Oak Ridge Park 
    • Miller Springs Park 
    • Overlook Park 
    • Owl Creek Park 
    • Rogers Park 
    • Sparta Valley Park 
    • West Cliff Park 
    • White Flint Park 
    • Winkler Park 
  • Closed boat ramps:
    • Live Oak
    • Owl Creek
    • Cedar Gap
    • Iron Bridge
    • Westcliff
  • Open boat ramps: 
    • White Flint
    • Leona
    • Rogers
    • Arrowhead Point
    • Lakeview/Franks

Waco Lake:

Closed parks:

  • Airport Park and beach and day use
  • Bosque Park
  • Flatrock Access
  • Koehne 
  • Midway
  • Reynolds Creek
  • Speegleville Campground
  • Twin Bridges and day use area 

Closed access areas: 

  • Lacy Point
  • Waco Dam 

Whitney Lake: 

Closed parks:

  • Cedar Creek
  • Cedron Creek
  • Kimball Bend
  • Lofers Bend
  • Lofers East
  • Lofers West
  • McCown Valley
  • Nolan River
  • Plowman Creek
  • Riverside
  • Soldiers Bluff
  • Steele Creek
  • Walling Bend  

Aquilla Lake:

  • Dairy Hill boat ramp - closed
  • Old School boat ramp - closed
  • Outlet Works and Fishing Platform - closed


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