«

»

Jun 02 2015

Use caution, common sense on Lake Conroe

With a little luck we may be seeing a break in the large amount of rain we have had once again and maybe we will be good for a while and dry out a little and also can get back to hot and muggy weather.

Of course I sure would hate to see the rain go away for the summer and for us to dry up again as has also happened in the past.

The folks I really feel sorry for are the people who have moved here from all over the country and the world and unknowingly purchased property that is prone to going under water when we have a wet period.

Folks no matter how many adjectives you want to stack in front of “Flood Plain” the only thing that counts is “Flood Plain” and the rest only amounts to deception as best I can tell.

No matter how many coats of paint you put on a hog it’s still a hog.

Anyway, it looks like we may be starting to get a break from the rain for a while so we sport boaters and anglers will be hitting the water as it is that time of year again.

This year when you head out for your water sports you need to keep in mind that just because the flood waters are going down or when they get back to normal the waterways will not be as they were before the floods.

The lake was up a couple feet above pool and the SJRA was letting out almost 9,000 CFS of water out of the dam at one point so a lot will have changed in the lake as well as the feeders into the lake and in every other lake, river, creek, and bayou in Southeast Texas as well as the Galveston Bay. That means you need to treat the waterways as new to you and increase your diligence while on them.

When you think about it the water has moved and shifted just about everything in its way on the journey to the Gulf of Mexico.

In the lakes there will be more debris than you might imagine, some submerged and some floating and all a potential danger to boaters, swimmers and everyone on and in the water.

One thing to consider is all of the dead trees that were left still standing or on the ground in the wake of the bad drought we have been experiencing for the past 10 or 15 years.

There has been enough rain to easily move the downed trees and knocked down many more and carry them off downstream into all of lakes in Texas as the water makes its way to the Gulf. Here on Lake Conroe I have seen limbs, stumps, and huge trees that have floated by presumably washed into the lake or broken off from up in the jungles north of the FM 1097 Bridge.

No matter how they got in the water they are there, floating sometime submerged just under the surface of the water and a real danger to any watercraft, swimmer, skier, or anyone tubing on the lake.

So this summer when you decide to hit the lake the next time you and your family get the urge you need to do the normal preparations by making the wiring is all sound and all connections are good and lights operating.

I have found it to be no fun to find that the engine will not start once the boat is launched because the battery is dead, want start the engine and is beyond help requiring a new one to be installed in the boat.

The mechanical operation of your engine needs all of the usual TLC and maintenance to make sure it is ready to deliver the fun you bought it to do and if your boat got water in it during the rains everything needs to be dried out, checked and double checked in the driveway to make sure all is well before you get to the water and find something askew to ruin your planned day before you even leave the boat launch.

Life jackets all need to be checked and double checked to make sure they are in good condition and that they all fit properly for every member going out on the boat.

Children tend to grow and may be too big for the life jacket that fitted them perfectly last summer.

I just may be paranoid but for a while I would make sure everyone on the boat when it is moving is wearing a Coast Guard approved floatation device and not just the children. That way if you do accidently hit something in the water and knock a hole in your boat, turn it over, or have someone fall overboard due to the impact everyone will be safe and even if unconscious will not drown.

At times like this after a good rain with flooding conditions a person cannot be too cautious. There is too much that has washed into the water to gamble your own life or someone else’s life on the chances that you will not hit something in the water.