The city is finally rethinking our killer low-head dam

The city is finally rethinking our killer low-head damThe city is finally rethinking our killer low-head dam

I don't know exactly, but it's been around 30 year's since the city, without authorization, built this killing machine of a low-head dam on Cypress Creek.  I say approximately 30 year's because it was back in the late '70s - through the early 80's that we held the Great Cypress Creek Raft Race each summer.

We had hundreds of rafter's joining the fun.  Mostly locals, but also lots of folks and distant family/friends from all over the country.  Then the city built the dam without the proper approvals. 

Originally when I first heard rumors of rafter's that were "held under" after falling out of their raft on the lower side of the dam - I didn't really believe them.  The next year after the race began, Dad and I ran down to the dam to see for ourselves.  Although we saw lots.  Lots of beer falling out of coolers - remember it was a dry county then.  Lots of partiers on a single raft (seems like First National Bank had over a hundred on one raft-well their accountant promised it was one raft) and lots of other things that was quite interesting to a young college kid.  But we didn't see anyone being pulled under.

But we did have contestants every year get hurt.  Usually had an ambulance taking someone to the emergency room, but fortunately nothing really serious.

Due to continued reports of the dams "almost killing" our raft race contestants, we finally, after so many years of great fun, had to close the doors to the Great Cypress Creek Raft Race.

But through the years, this illegal low-head dam has become and continued to be a killer.  And, now 30 years after the city built it, they are beginning to take a look at how to make it safer.

I personally think they should blow it up, and allow the creek to run free again.  Well, at least keep the idea on the table.  Really quite amazing that our city council has been able to agree (without their famous two to two tie) on anything.

Cypress Creek is/was one of the best, most beautiful assets we have.  Lets work to get it back.  The way it was when we were kids.  Obviously we have another issue to address here.

The city is finally rethinking our killer low-head dam

Robin Wade