Overnight, an already waterlogged North Texas received an additional thorough soaking, with radar estimates showing anywhere from 1 to 10 inches of rain yesterday across North Texas. Denton County rainfall ranged from 1 to 3 inches over large parts of the county, with some areas of eastern Denton County receiving up to 4 inches, as overnight storms lingered over the area. US Geological Survey estimates rainfall at the Lewisville Lake station at 2.7 inches since last night.
Lewisville Lake, already rushing over the spillway, picked up more than half a foot to end up at 535.08 feet as of 6:30 a.m., more than 3 feet above its flood pool. Upstream, Lake Ray Roberts, picked up about a foot of water Thursday, sitting at 643.57 this morning at 6:15.
Inflows to Lewisville Lake on gauged streams measure over 17,000 CFS this morning, with Clear Creek, Hickory Creek, and the Elm Fork accounting for the majority of that. Below Lewisville Dam, the Elm Fork is at 27.66 feet, flowing at about 8,670 CFS. At Carrollton Dam, downstream, there is moderate flooding, as the water level is at 10.1 feet, more than two feet above flood stage.
The central and eastern portions of Denton County are under an areal flood advisory until 8 a.m. The National Weather Service says the Dallas Fort Worth area received 1.56 inches of rain yesterday, totaling 13.87 inches for the month of May. Normally in May, our area would receive 4.43 inches. It has been an excessively wet year with 28.54 inches of rain so far this year, compared to a 15.78 inch normal value, and the 7.32 inches we had by this time last year.
According to figures released yesterday, North Texas has now largely broken its extended drought. 82.11% of Texas is now drought-free, with only 17.89% in drought stages 0 (Abnormally Dry) or 1 (Moderate Drought). Last year at this time, 89.28% of the state was in drought. Texas lakes, overall, are 82.3% full for conservation storage purposes, but many like Lewisville Lake are overflowing. Just a year ago, Texas lakes were only 66.5% full. The western half of Texas is where the lakes still have some capacity and need to refill.
DCTA is telling A-train passengers this morning to utilize a bus bridge between its Trinity Mills station and Old Town Lewisville stations. Some areas of track are frequently affected by floods, but DCTA has not specifically said overnight what the problem is.
The Lewisville High School Choir’s “Music of America” performance was held at Stuver Auditorium May 21, 2015. The event closed out LHS’s 2014-2015 season and bids farewell to the very talented senior class-man who have graced the stage for the last four years,. Last night’s festivities were also held in high regard due to LHS Choir Director, Steven DeCrow’s recent nomination for a Grammy in music education. The concert also marks a first- time collaboration between the LHS Choir, Lewisville High School Honors Orchestra, and the Lewisville High School Wind Symphony.
Musical arts are an integral part of Lewisville’s culture. From the Lewisville Lake Symphony to the Lake Cities Ballet, performing arts have provided a unique cultural lifeblood that has separated Lewisville from its neighboring Dallas municipalities. The LHS Choir is a testament to the taxpaying populace of Lewisville’s dedication to performing arts. Director Steven DeCrow and his staff have poured their hearts and souls into teaching and crafting these children into living, breathing, beautiful instruments--and “Music of America” was a showcase of just that.
It was cool Thursday evening, as attendees entered into Stuver Auditorium to support the local high school choir. Students, parents and supporters, piled into the 1,100 seat auditorium to witness the final performance of the season for the LHS Choir. Festivities started with performances by underclassman paying homage to American vocal stylings of barbershop quartets, R&B, folk and many others. The auditorium sat at near 3/4 capacity as the performances trekked on. After an hour of theme-centric song and dance routines, the audience flowed into the lobby for refreshments.
Residents are invited to join the first Lewisville Citizens University. The class will familiarize participants with the structure, functions and activities of City of Lewisville government, encourage them to become involved in the city’s government, and enhance their ability to communicate effectively with city officials.
Those attending will acquire a better understanding of their city government and services as well as intergovernmental relationships. City officials will, in turn, gain valuable insights into residents’ priorities and needs from their involvement.
LCU will consist of monthly sessions starting in July and continuing through April. Graduation will be held at the May 2, 2016, City Council meeting. Each session will begin at 6 p.m. and end at approximately 8:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.
Here are the sessions:
- July 30th: Getting to Know Your City Government
- August 27th: Public Safety - Police Department
- September 10th: Leisure and Recreation
- October 8th: Animal Services / Code Enforcement
- November 12th: Public Works / Engineering
- December 10th: General Administration
- January 5th: Bus Tour (FD, PD, Railroad Park)
- February 11th: Planning and Development
- March 8th: Public Safety - Fire Department
- April 14th: Municipal Court / Library
- May 2nd: Graduation
Registration is now open. Applicants must be registered voters living in Lewisville, have been a resident for at least one year, be 18 years or older and must not be running for local political office during the course of instruction. Classes are limited to 20 students.
Those of you following us on Facebook have already seen a lot of our pictures from yesterday of when Lewisville Lake overtopped the spillway. Currently the water is at 533.15 feet, or 1.15 feet over the top of the spillway. Water is flowing uncontrolled now over the top of the spillway. From there, it goes down a flood channel to McWhorter Creek, which feeds into the Elm Fork Trinity, just 150' north of SH 121 Business in Lewisville. That river is actually lower than it has been in the past few days at this point, due to lowered releases from the floodgates from Lewisville Dam. The reason for that is the flooding downstream, which has caused the Corps to cut back on releasing.
I wanted to share this video by Maury Kennedy who had some aerial shots and time-lapse.
Check out this incredible time lapse video of Lake Lewisville Spillway as the lake started pouring into The Trinity River#LakeLewisville #LakeLewisvilleSpillway #Laketography
Update - 11:02 a.m.: A Tornado Watch has been issued for 35 counties in North Central Texas, including Denton County until 6 p.m. today. This means that conditions are favorable for the possible development of tornadoes. If you are going to be outdoors today, have plans at all times to get to shelter quickly if needed. Make sure that you have a means of staying informed of the situation with the weather. Stay tuned.
Original Post: Today will bring yet another round of thunderstorms and unwelcome rains to add to our flood situation in North Texas.
According to the National Weather Service, storms should enter our area after 1 p.m. Large hail, damaging winds, and even tornadoes are possible. There is already a tornado warning at this hour for an area just west of Abilene, where a line of storms is building up and heading our way.
Denton County is at high risk for floods due to saturated soil, swollen creeks and rivers, and full lakes. We are under a flash flood watch. In recent days, there have been numerous reports of cars getting washed away after attempting to drive through water. There was even a rescue in Lewisville on Saturday night.
Early Sunday morning, about 3 a.m., a storm blew through on the far east side of Lewisville and destroyed numerous boat storage units at the Sunshine Boat Storage at 1000 Lake Ridge.
Manager Roy Schindler, who lives at the facility was woken up early in the morning when debris started hitting the house. Boards could be seen sticking out of the side of his unit, and a 2x6 board impaled his house and was sticking out of the ceiling in his living room.
There are no reports of injuries. Schindler had contacted the tenants, many of whom were working on cleanup at the time we drove by.
Schindler said that a tenant from the nearby apartments behind the units witnessed the event and described it as a tornado. Last night, Lewisville was under a tornado watch until 4 a.m., but no warnings were issued overnight.
Lewisville police have one man in custody this afternoon after a standoff in Castle Hills.
Captain Dan Rochelle said the call came in about 10:19 a.m. that a man had fired several shots inside his apartment. The individual was suicidal, so police negotiated for hours to try to get him out. Eventually, shortly after 3 p.m., the SWAT team put some type of tear gas into the apartment, and the man exited shortly thereafter.
Officers were able to take him into custody without any injuries to themselves or the suspect. He is being held in protective custody for mental health issues, but could be charged with deadly conduct if the investigation determines that any bullets exited the apartment. Detectives have obtained a search warrant for the apartment.
A sophomore honors student at Flower Mound High School who posted online some of the photos he took as part of his yearbook class, has been forced by school administrators to take down the photos. Anthony Mazur, 16, is on his school’s yearbook staff, and over the past year has been learning about photography- focusing mostly on sports photography. Mazur posted his best photos on Flickr, and had even been successful at selling a few of them to the parents of his subjects, until school administrators threatened him with in-school suspension or loss of privileges unless he removed them all.
Mazur said he and his yearbook class had gone to a journalism convention in San Antonio back in October, and at that convention, one of the speakers was a teacher from Argyle High School, who told them of a student who was selling their work. Inspired by the possibility, Mazur asked the speaker about the copyright issues, and the teacher explained to him that as the photographer, he owned the pictures he took, and was entitled to the rights. Lewisville ISD’s own policy (CY Local) states explicitly that “A student shall retain all rights to work created as part of instruction or using District technology resources.”
So, Mazur went about his business, taking photos at various district events, all of which were open to the general public. He took many impressive photos using his school-issued school-issued digital camera, and began posting them on his Flickr account. Mazur says the students on the teams he photographed were enthusiastic about his work, and shared the link to his site with one another.
Back in March, Mazur says he was called into FMHS Assistant Principal Jeffrey Brown’s office, where he saw that Brown had his website pulled up on a computer there. He said that Brown was angry at him, and told him that posting the pictures online was illegal, and violated copyright. According to Mazur, Brown also worked the angle (contrary to the policy listed above) that the camera belonged to the district. When Mazur argued that the copyright belonged to him, he says that Brown changed his tune and said that it violated student privacy. Brown allegedly told Mazur at the time that a parent had complained.
Mazur alleged that Brown told him in a coercive tone “I’m just asking you to take the website down, I’m not asking you to return any money.” Mazur said he assumed Brown meant the school, with regards to returning money. Mazur said Brown told him that he “wouldn’t report [Mazur] to the IRS” over the money he earned from selling the photos. Brown told Mazur that he was issuing an “administrative directive” to take the photos down. At this point, Mazur said he requested that his parent be brought into the discussion.
Mazur’s parents, Len and Mary Jo Mazur went to the school the next day, and met with FMHS Principal Sonya Lail, who they said told them that it was a student who complained about the photos, and that they supposedly violated the federal privacy rights of the students, as outlined in FERPA, the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act. That law restricts the information that schools and school employees can disclose, but is not targeted at students.
After the meeting, the Mazurs said they received a written administrative directive ordering him to take the pictures down. Len Mazur said the reasoning listed on the directive was not related to privacy concerns, but “because he posted with the intention to profit”. The Mazur’s would not say how much money, even in general terms, that Anthony had earned from selling his photos. But Anthony said that his customers were all parents of the students in the photos, buying the digital photo for their own use. “It doesn’t matter whether he sold one or a million pictures,” said Len Mazur, who insisted that it was the principle of applying the law correctly that was important.
Lewisville Lake could overflow its spillway soon, if rains continue. As of this morning, the water level stood at 530.39 feet, a little over a foot and a half shy of hitting the 532 foot height of the lip of the spillway. The US Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the lake and Lake Ray Roberts upstream is currently letting out about 6,400 cubic feet per second (CFS) from the dam’s flood gate. Aside from a couple of brief periods when downstream flooding was a concern, they’ve had the gates open for most of the past three weeks, trying to release water as quickly as they can in a controlled manner.
That release has attracted both onlookers and fishermen to the outlet, which is located deep within the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA). But LLELA, which is normally open each Friday through Sunday, will be closed to the general public this weekend due to concerns of public safety. LLELA Education Coordinator Lisa Cole said that last weekend people were climbing way down the rocks that line the river channel near the outlet, and that some people had allowed their kids to swim in the floodwaters. As you can see from the video below, getting too close to the turbulent output is a dangerous proposition. Not all of the LLELA activities are cancelled; some will still be allowed with LLELA staff supervision.
Corps Lake Manager Rob Jordan said he had been very busy dealing with the situation. The Corps coordinated with LLELA on the shutdown. “It attracts a lot of people, and we just want to make sure we’re providing safe opportunities,” said Jordan. The LLELA closure is just the latest in a string of closures of all the most popular points to access the lake. Lake Park in Lewisville is closed due to flood waters, as are Westlake and Oakland parks. “The lake itself is not closed,” said Jordan. “People can still access it in spots; people with boats on the marina can access it, and people can still walk in and fish,” he said. “It attracts a lot of people, and we just want to make sure we’re providing safe opportunities.”