Lake Livingston Updates


July 16, 2024 – Work Continues to Complete Repairs on Lake Livingston Dam

Work and repairs on the Lake Livingston Dam continue. As of today, the lake level is at 129.81 feet above mean sea level (msl). It is anticipated that the lake level will fluctuate between 128.0 and 131.0 msl for the next three weeks.

The damage to the facility that still needs to be repaired is below the spillway apron on the downstream side of the dam. There is no damage or leakage on the lake side of the dam. Current work is to put stronger fill material below the dam where original clay fill was washed out by high flows. Construction activities will require lowering the lake level to allow for the gates on the dam to be closed for several hours at a time.

Progress is being made daily to help ensure that the dam will continue to function as designed, and divers are inspecting the work as it goes along. The dam performed as needed during the recent hurricane, and it is important to continue the work.

Residents are reminded that for more information, they can check the TRA website at trinityra.org, or they may call 877-352-3247.

July 8, 2024 – Storm Prep Repairs Completed Ahead of Schedule

The Trinity River Authority Lake Livingston Dam repairs slated for completion Monday, July 8, were completed and tested Sunday July 7. The completed repairs will help ensure that the dam is ready for the potential heavy rainfall related to Hurricane Beryl. So far, about 4-5 inches of rain fell in the area.

If additional rain falls, related to the storm, the dam should perform as designed and handle the potential high-flow event without impacting the integrity of the dam. Ten of the 12 dam gates are in full operation. The two gates that are not in operation are slated to be back on line in the fall.

For more information, people may call 877-352-3247, or visit the TRA website at trinityra.org.

Large machinery operates on a dam in the early morning light with many construction flood lights illuminating the area

PHOTO DESCRIPTION:
Concrete pour to seal erosion at the toe wall started at 4 a.m. As the sun rose, the Trinity River Authority had already made substantial progress. Ultimately, pouring almost 1,000 cubic yards of concrete to shield the stilling basin area.

July 7, 2024 

Work continues at the site to repair damage as safely and as quickly as possible. The decision was made in cooperation with the FAA to initiate a temporary flight restriction in the area for safety and security reasons. State and federal regulations prohibit drone flights over critical infrastructure. Key is the fact that this is critical infrastructure and unauthorized drone flights pose a risk to safety and security at the site and to personnel.

July 6, 2024 – The Trinity River Authority Is Closely Monitoring Tropical Storm Beryl

The Trinity River Authority is closely monitoring the projected path of Tropical Storm Beryl in cooperation with the National Weather Service. Initial mitigation efforts at Lake Livingston Dam will be complete by Monday afternoon, July 8,  prior to rainfall associated with the storm. The dam will be able to pass high-flow events without impacting the integrity of the dam. 

July 3, 2024 – Lake Livingston Update for the Holiday Weekend

The lake will be open for use as usual. As soon as conditions allow, the lake may be lowered by as much as 3 feet to facilitate repairs over a 2-3 week period.

For emergency updates, please stay connected with your local emergency management organizations. For information about TRA, visit trinityra.org. The dam is functioning as intended. Stay safe, and have a great weekend!

July 2, 2024 – Lake Livingston Dam Damage Assessment and Repairs in Progress

(ARLINGTON, TEXAS) – The Lake Livingston Dam, which was damaged by the recent heavy rainfall and flooding, is undergoing repairs as safely and as quickly as possible to address areas of the dam that experienced erosion caused by high-impact flows.

Crews and material suppliers are working around-the-clock to ensure that the dam can handle potential storm flow releases. The area is a construction zone, and only authorized personnel will be onsite. Additionally, the situation is under 24-hour observation and monitoring. It is too early to determine when the current repairs will be complete.

The damage was more visible after the rains receded, and the level of the lake will be lowered to assist in the repairs. The dam, which was completed in 1969 and filled in 1971, is in no immediate danger of failure or a breach.

The day-to-day operation of the dam will continue as necessary, and gate operations may vary as conditions and construction activities dictate.

The Trinity River Authority is working closely with local emergency management to provide them with information to make decisions related to the communities that they serve. People should contact their local emergency management officials for any specific emergency actions in their community. Emergency management contact information can be found on TRA’s website.

The current declaration of a “potential failure watch” is still in place. Any change in the declaration status will be shared. At this time, there is no threat or impact to TRA’s water customers served by Lake Livingston.

For more information, people may call 877-352-3247, or visit the TRA website at trinityra.org.

Click here to view the official press release.

June 28, 2024 – Important updates on the Lake Livingston Dam


The Trinity River Authority (TRA) is confirming that the spillway of the Lake Livingston Dam (spillway) has been adversely impacted by the recent heavy rainfall and flooding in the dam’s drainage area.  This has resulted in the declaration of a “potential failure watch” condition which requires continued monitoring and evaluation of the spillway’s integrity, as well as the implementation of necessary repairs and remedial actions.

Although there is no immediate danger of either failure or breach of the dam, the potential does exist however remote it might be.  The day-to-day operation of the dam will continue as necessary, although normal gate operations may vary as conditions dictate.  This declaration is in conformance with the Emergency Action Plan as approved by the TRA.  TRA will continue to monitor the spillway’s status and will issue updates as appropriate.

For additional information please contact Trinity River Authority at: 877-352-3247, or online.

May 25, 2024

Please be aware there are no failures or problems at the Lake Livingston Dam. The dam is operating under normal operating procedures at this time. The dam is well-maintained and is designed to pass more than 300,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water
.

You can find current discharge rates and lake levels below:

lake-river-data-thumbnail

Please see the video below for information about Lake Livingston and the dam, and how it operates, particularly when areas are experiencing severe flooding due to the historically intense and prolonged storms over the past several months. If you have any questions, please submit them through our contact form and we will be happy to answer them.



Follow us on Twitter for around-the-clock updates on the dam.

We will continue to post updates to this page, so feel free to check for updates. 

May 7, 2024 – Regarding rain events and the operation of the Lake Livingston Dam

TRA sympathizes with all those impacted by the recent flood event. The Trinity River Authority has been questioned over the years about Lake Livingston and how the gate operations work. Lake Livingston is a water conservation reservoir and was not designed for flood control purposes. Reservoir operations are governed by Gate Operating Procedures (GOP) that depend upon the Authority’s use of a flowage easement it acquired around the lake. The GOPs are developed to mimic river conditions at the location of the dam and serve to prevent excessive or premature downstream releases that could make flood conditions worse downstream. Gate operations are determined by inflow measurements based on the change in lake elevation at the dam.

The Authority does not contemplate storing excessive water or releasing water based on weather forecasts or conditions occurring in the upper Trinity River Basin. Both practices could aggravate flood conditions upstream and/or downstream of the dam. Both may seem like viable options, but one must consider the lack of certainty in weather predictions. No forecast can predict with 100% certainty the location, quantity, and timing of a precipitation event.

Because Lake Livingston is not a flood control reservoir but rather a water conservation reservoir, water cannot be held in large volumes and later released as in the operations of a flood control reservoir. As flood events happen, the dam operator reacts to changes in the lake level but does so in an orderly fashion to move in the direction of the desired discharge, whether related to an increase or decrease in the lake level. The concept of reacting in an orderly fashion results in flattened releases to prevent rapid drops and rises in downstream river levels. However, rainfall events that occur rapidly in close proximity to the reservoir can result in changes that occur more rapidly if measured inflows dictate such a response. As mentioned before, our operations attempt to mimic river flows as closely as possible in a manner that would reflect conditions if the dam was not in place.

May 2, 2024

As of May 2, 2024, several counties in and near the Trinity River basin have declared a state of disaster, including Trinity, Polk, San Jacinto, Liberty and Walker counties and many others have received flash flood warnings. Polk County has issued a mandatory evacuation order and San Jacinto County has declared voluntary evacuation.
 

Please regularly check with your Office of Emergency Management and pay attention to your local weather sources and the National Weather Service for relevant updates. Many roadways in the region may still be under water, so please exercise extreme caution and never drive into water. 

You can monitor lake levels and discharge rates throughout the basin here.




Trinity River Authority (TRA) Contacts

Lake Livingston Project
(936) 365-2292

TRA Southern Region Office
1601 Normal Park, Huntsville, Texas 77340
(936) 295-5485

TRA Communications
josephv@trinityra.org
817-493-5122

Livingston Dam Updates on X/Twitter
@LivingstonDam

Trinity River Authority of Texas social media
@TraofTexas on Instagram and Facebook

Resources

TRA Flood Assessment Tool for reporting floods in the Trinity River Basin
Trinity Regional Flood Planning Group
Texas Flood website for flood information
Texas Division of Emergency Management
Texas 2-1-1
   dial 2-1-1, or (877) 541-7905
National Weather Service
National Weather Service – Houston 

Local Contacts

Walker County Emergency Management
(936) 436-4910

Trinity County Emergency Management
(936) 642-1746

San Jacinto County Emergency Management
(936) 653-3395

Polk County Emergency Management
(936) 327-6826

Liberty County Emergency Management
936-334-3219

Chambers County Emergency Management
(409) 267-2445