HOUSTON — Some neighbors living on or near Lake Houston say they are angry with the city’s decision to reduce the lake’s water level.
The water level of Lake Houston was lowered on Tuesday by 2.5 feet at the direction of Mayor Sylvester Turner and city council member Dave Martin.
Neighbors say the city underestimated the depth of the lake and say it has not been 42.5 feet in many years. They say lowering it by 2.5 feet has had dramatic consequences.
“This is where I live, and this is what I care about,” said Walden on Lake Houston resident Ken Aucoin. “We have a canal that should be 9 feet deep. It’s barely 2 feet. And then the mayor releases water and lets our boats sit on the water.”
Neighbors claim years of sand and silt buildup has caused for the lake and nearby waterways to become much more shallow. They say none of them have been dredged, which may have cured the problem, they say.
“All of Lake Houston is not 40- or 42-feet deep,” said Walden on Lake Houston resident James Gregory. “The majority of the lake is full of the sand and silt.”
Residents living directly on Lake Houston are now unable to launch their boats with the lake level reduction.
“Oh, I hope they don’t keep it this low,” said Spanish Cove resident Ernie Lopez. “As you can see, we won’t be able to launch the boats.”
Lopez’s home did not flood during Harvey, however, several of his neighbors’ homes did.
Councilman David Martin said the reduction was made in the interest of surrounding communities including Atascocita, Humble and Kingwood. He says the step was necessary to help protects the thousands of residents who lost their homes in those areas.