LeBlanc: Lake Conroe is open again, but be careful

A week or so ago we were finally blessed with some needed rain and according to my rain gauge in the back yard, our area had a little over ten inches of nature's liquid blessing.

The only problem that I could see was it came in a couple days, so as usual when we have such an occurrence, we had some flooding in the normal low spots. Also ,where the developers and builders recently clear cut the timber and strip the land to pour concrete and build houses, the added run off has been destructively increased and some of my neighbors even got water in their homes for the first time. Fine neighborly people some of those builders.

There are state laws against changing where the water flows when building on property, but I guess they are banking on the idea that to hire a lawyer will cost more than for a homeowner to fix the problem themselves. I am pretty sure that the Good Book said “Love thy neighbor” is one of the two most important Commandments, but I really can't remember any passage saying “Flood Thy Neighbor,” but then what do I know.

With all of the rain falling so quickly added to the mindless clear cutting of timber throughout the county, the water level of Lake Conroe rose quickly to the point that water had to be released. Again, nothing too unusual about that. With so much water coming down a lot of debris was washed into the lake, a number of boats broke loose from their moorings and were drifting free, and many docks and some bulkheads went under water. All of that caused an immediate and dangerous situation in the lake.

Because of debris, docks and anything else loose in the water, the lake was closed to pleasure boat traffic through the weekend and not reopened until noon on Monday, May 3.

Now, just because the lake is open again doesn't mean you can go out and run forty or fifty miles per hour, with wild abandon across the water. Well you can, but that would not be wise. I cannot urge boaters enough to continue to use extreme caution due to floating debris and submerged objects that may not be fully visible.

Memorial Day is rapidly approaching and if all runs true to form, Lake Conroe will be heavy with boat traffic. A lot of folks will be getting out for the first time this year and there is nothing like being out on your boat or personal watercraft skimming across the water. However, it doesn't take a very big piece of floating debris to punch a hole in your hull, tare up a lower unit, or seriously injure a water skier at thirty or forty miles an hour. So, please keep that in mind. Just because you don't see something that may be floating just under the surface doesn't mean it is not there and hitting such an obstacle is a potentially painful and costly way to find out something is there.

Another thing to keep in mind is with submerged bulkheads, lake area residents should be cautious of electrical outlets and equipment that has come into contact with water. That can be a big danger that I will bet most folks do not think about that is not to be taken lightly because it is potentially deadly. Swimming deaths due to electricity fall into two categories: electrocution and electric shock drowning (ESD). Lights around boat docks and electric boat lifts are the most common causes and both can be prevented the same way.

While Electrocution can happen in fresh or saltwater when swimmers make contact with energized metal dock fittings, boats or other structures due to faulty alternating current (AC) wiring. ESD occurs when AC current gets into freshwater from faulty wiring and passes through a swimmer, causing paralysis or even sudden death. Unlike electrocution, with ESD a swimmer does not need to be touching a boat or dock structure, and even minute amounts of electricity can be incapacitating and lead to drowning.

So let me advise everyone to stay away from any areas that may have electrical connections, lights, boat lifts and etc. unless you know for a fact that they have been proclaimed safe by a licensed electrician.

I shouldn't have to mention one of the biggest contributors to irresponsible behavior, accidents and even deaths on the water anywhere in the state, but it still ranks number one in the stupid actions category of some boaters and that is alcohol.

Alcohol contributes to dehydration on a nice hot summer day, reduces the reaction time to any situation and can contribute to the erroneous feeling that a person has everything under control when under the influence. When you go back through the statistics regarding boating accidents alcohol is the number one contributor in most instances.

So folks as you get out on Lake Conroe, or any other lake, river, or bay for that matter, from now going forward watch for foreign items in the water and hold off of the boos if you are driving any vehicle. Let's make this Memorial Day weekend statistically one of the safest in the record books and all have fun and be safe.

Original Article from: https://news.lakeconroe.com/leblanc-lake-conroe-is-open-again-but-be-careful/

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