Montgomery County commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday morning, in a 4-1 vote, opposing any permanent reduction to the water level of Lake Conroe.
Many Hurricane Harvey flood victims from the Kingwood area claim the water released from Lake Conroe contributed to their massive flooding down the San Jacinto River.
County Judge Craig Doyle does not agree and says researchers have shown the release from the Lake Conroe dam contributed less than 20 percent of the water released into Lake Houston during Harvey.
“The permanent lowering of that lake by three feet would be devastating to the economy around the lake and to Montgomery County as a whole,” Doyle said.
Read more: When the floodwaters recede
Doyle says unregulated feeder channels of water south of Lake Conroe were greater contributors to the water that flowed to Lake Houston, causing the flooding seen in Kingwood and surrounding communities.
“There’s a tremendous amount of water that comes through there that no one can control,” Doyle said.
County commissioners say residential properties on Lake Conroe would lose more than $1 billion in valuations should the lake ever be permanently reduced by three feet. Doyle says businesses that operate in the city of Montgomery and near Lake Conroe would also suffer.
Wolfies on Lake Conroe re-opened in January after it had been closed for months following Harvey.
The restaurant was flooded and significantly damaged when Lake Conroe overflowed its banks.
Managers at the restaurant say they know their business may be impacted if the water level were reduced in the lake, but for their business, it is better than the alternative.
“We would actually really like it to be lowered,” said Wolfies manager Kayla Spears. "We definitely do get a lot of lake traffic, and during the summer a lot of our business comes from the lake. So it would probably affect us, but we would rather be affected that way than to have to completely remodel again and get flooded again."
The resolution passed by the Montgomery County commissioners will be sent to the Texas legislature.