Excessive rainfall forces Texas dam opening, voluntary evacuations

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Weeks of excessive rainfall have forced Texas officials to open a third gate at Possum Kingdom Lake’s Morris Sheppard Dam, putting nearby areas on voluntary evacuation and closing roadways.

The Brazos River Authority said Monday that the gate had been opened for a release of about 28,400 cubic feet of water per second.

In accordance with the release, the Texas Department of Transportation closed the Highway 16 Bridge below the dam.

“Be advised river levels will rise quickly,” the organization cautioned. “Recreation on the Brazos River is discouraged during gate releases. In case of an emergency, dial 9-1-1.”

One of the three gates was later closed on Tuesday morning, though the remaining two gates were still releasing 17,200 cubic feet of water per second. 

“Be advised river levels remain high,” the Brazos River Authority tweeted.

While precipitation has stopped in Texas this week, additional rounds of heavy rainfall are forecast from the Deep South to the Mid-Atlantic. 

According to the National Weather Service, rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches with locally higher amounts possible will impact states from Kentucky to North Carolina over the next two days.

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