Flooding at Lake Pointe


By Mary Noel Wagner (2002)

On June 28, the sun shone, the air was warm, and there were clouds in the sky.  A little rain would help with the drought.  In the evening the rain began – and didn’t stop.

Canyon Lake was created by the Army Corps of Engineers to hold water from the Guadalupe River and prevent flooding caused by excessive rains.  It did just that.  As the rain fell, day after day, the lake level rose.  “It will never get up to the pool.”  It just got up to the cement around the pool in the flood of ’98.  It might get that high, but no more.”  The words of past experience.  This time the water did rise enough to get to the cement.  Then to cover the pool.  Then to cover the ladders.  Then to cover the fence.  Then to cover the pool pump shed.

The Guadalupe River crossings were running full because of the rain, but tubers and boaters were able to get on the water.  The lake managers did not open the floodgates because too much water would make the river unsafe.

Water came up behind D section.  Campers had to move to higher ground as the water rose.  It did cover several lakeside sites and came in close behind the wood’s edge sites.  Water rose in the woods and came close in the storage areas.

The Fourth of July was approaching and the rain continued.  Would we be able to have the traditional parade followed by games, hamburgers and ice cream?  We prepared for the festivities just in case.  As we prepared, we watched the lake continue to rise.  Arriving guests told us that the lake had risen enough to cover the road (306) where the river crossed it, and where streams fed the lake.  The roads to the east were closed to all traffic.  To the west, one lane was open.  The lake was closed for all uses as it was impossible to see what was under the surface of the water, and dead trees above and below made boating unsafe.  All boat ramps on the lake were closed by safety officials.  Many people with condo reservations cancelled their stay because they couldn’t use their boats, or they couldn’t get here because of the road closings.

On the morning of the Fourth, the clouds cleared and the rain stopped.  We had our breakfast, a wonderful parade, kids games, hamburger cook-out and ice cream, all as planned.  The kids, everyone, had to use the upper pool as the lower pool was completely underwater – over the fence.  The fireworks were cancelled as the entire lower area (lake walk) was flooded.  Some adult campers had their own fireworks and with permission set them off at the edge of the lake, which by now was up to the lower garbage dumpster.  Several families left earlier than planned as the roads were flooding and they didn’t want to be stranded.  As we closed up for the evening, it began to rain again.

The morning brought more surprises.  The water had risen enough to completely cover the pool pump house.  The lower dumpster sat in enough water that it floated away.  It was grabbed by campers and tied to the back of the upper deck.  The pool sunshade/benches floated over the top of the pool fence and drifted towards the condos.  The water crossed the park road, and rose to cover several steps of the business office.  Several sites in D section were under water.  The propane tank by the laundry room was floating in water.  The water shorted out the pump for the sewage lift station next to it.  The rain continued.  Those of us still in the park prepared to move to higher ground if necessary.

One of the rain days was a spectacular lightning storm.  It was striking trees and poles all around us.  We had power outages and pump failures because of it.

The news told us that the water was now going over the spillway of the dam.  Since the dam was built 40+n years ago, the water had never gotten that high.  The water over the spillway was 7 feet deep.  It washed away the trees, soil, and rock of the landscape.  It rolled across the land creating a new river.  A huge section of South Access Road was washed away by the water.  The floodgates couldn’t (or wouldn’t) be opened because of the rubble the spillway water moved.  Homes and businesses below the dam were washed away.

The rain continued to fall and the lake stayed level.  The lake water didn’t get into the condos, but the rainwater did.  The entire pavilion was under water.  The tables floated away.  The barbecue pit was totally submerged.  The volleyball net was partly under water, our gauge to the water’s rise and fall.

About two weeks of rainfall filled the lake.  Now two months after it started, the lake level is falling.  The lower pool is now out of the water, but there are picnic tables on the roof of the shed that floated there in the high water.  The walk around the lake is still under water and will be for a while.  The lake has been closed for all uses for safety reasons.  We did have an adventure.  Come on back to the park and we will tell you all about it.

(Reprinted (with permission) from Lake Pointe Resort newsletter of September 16, 2002, Volume 6, issue 3.)

Lake Point Resort Website:  http://gocampingamerica.com/lakepointe/index.html

Before & After Pictures of the Swimming Pool from the Deck

Before & After Pictures of the Pavilion

Before & After Pictures of the Swimming Pool Toward the Deck

Before & After Pictures of the "D" Campground Area