Release of flood waters tops 207,000 cubic feet per second
The historic flooding of the Sabine River, which today claimed a portion of Interstate 10 at the Texas state line, was inevitable when considering just how much water was released from Toledo Bend Reservoir last week.
On March 10, the water flow through the Toledo Bend dam topped 207,000 cubic feet per second — more than double the 100,000 cfs water flow of Niagara Falls.
And this video shows just how impressive that much water flowing through the dam’s gate was.
The video, provided by Patrtick McCormic, was taken when nine of the structure’s 11 gates were opened to 22 feet to relieve pressure from flood waters that pushed Toledo Bend to a record water level of 174.36 feet.
The rush through the dam can be heard, and the enormous amount of water released is further illustrated when the video pans southward to show the Sabine River, which normally is fairly small. At this point, water levels in the river had swollen and were rushing downriver.
Soon, the river spilled out of its banks farther south, flooding homes and even topping the Highway 90 bridge.
The flow through the dam was tamped down to 184,764 cfs — still more than Niagara Falls — on March 11, and by March 13 had been reduced to 98,594 cfs. Today’s water flow is 67,164 cfs, according to the Sabine River Authority of Louisiana.
The Sabine River at Deweyville, Texas, was forecasted to crest today (March 15) at 33.5 feet, 9.5 feet above flood stage.
The river crest at Orange, Texas, is expected at 7.5 feet by March 16. That is 3.5 feet above flood stage. Interstate 10 was closed this morning because flood waters were lapping over the roadway, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.