Judge temporarily blocks plans to drain four Texas lakes and accompanying dams

Texas Tribune News

An aerial shot of the dam on Lake Dunlap near New Braunfels on Aug. 30, 2019.
An aerial shot of the dam on Lake Dunlap near New Braunfels on Aug. 30, 2019.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

A judge temporarily blocked next week’s draining of four lakes in Guadalupe County in Central Texas, and the 90-year-old dams that support them, according to the court order.

Judge Stephen Ables issued the order Wednesday as the court proceeding between the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and homeowners along the lakes east of San Antonio continue.

Homeowners, who got less than a month’s notice, said they felt blindsided by the plan that would lower their property values, kill their beloved century-old cypress trees and render the lakes unusable.

The water authority announced last month that it would drain lakes Gonzales, McQueeney, Meadow and Placid over concerns that their dams would fail, since two already did. Patty Gonzales, a river authority spokesperson, said the dams are creating a safety hazard and could flood entire neighborhoods if they get any worse.