Big News for Prospective Property Owners: Lake Dunlap Refilled After Dam Failure

Posted by Hunter Croan on Friday, November 10th, 2023 at 6:52am.

For the past several years, Lake Dunlap, one of our favorite lakes in Texas, has been a bit under the weather. Following a partial dam failure in 2019, water levels in the lake have dropped significantly. But now, after years of dedicated effort and a strategic dam renovation plan, the lake has been completely refilled!

This is great news for Lake Dunlap residents – both current and prospective – but also for the local community, which relies on the dam for power. In fact, the community has played a key role in shaping the rebirth of this lake. Let’s take a look at where we’ve come from, where we are now, and what residents of the area can expect moving forward.

lake dunlap

The History of Lake Dunlap: How We Got Here

Like many of the other Texas lakes we service, Lake Dunlap was formed not as a natural lake but artificially made reservoir. Following the construction of the Lake Dunlap dam in 1931, the reservoir has been used to create hydroelectric power for the area.

The dam also helped keep water levels stable in Lake Dunlap. Its existence became a part of the lake itself – always there, never changing. But like all good things, the dam’s stability eventually had to come to an end.


Spring 2019: The Dam (Partially) Fails

The Lake Dunlap dam held strong and sturdy for almost a century. But all that changed in the spring of 2019. On the morning of May 14, a portion of the 90-year-old dam unexpectedly gave way.

The middle spillway suddenly collapsed, allowing surges of water to empty from the lake. By the next afternoon, water levels at Lake Dunlap had dropped by around seven feet. The cause of the collapse was determined to be the aging steel supporting the structure.

The local community responded immediately to find solutions. By November 2020, Lake Dunlap residents voted to pass three new propositions to create a new water-control district. These propositions also assessed tax funds that could be used for the construction of a new dam.

That takes us to August 2023, when the new dam design was completed. Lake water refilling began the very same day.

Lake Dunlap Dam Repairs & Water Refilling

On August 31, 2023, at 3 p.m., the Lake Dunlap Water Control & Improvement District (WCID) began officially refilling the lake.

But that doesn’t mean literally dumping new water into the lake. Instead, officials raised two of the three gates that make up the dam by a foot, then slowly raised the final gate as the lake water refills. The entire process took several months to complete. Now, in the fall of 2023, lake levels have reached their pre-collapse norm.

A push to protect dams in other areas – namely Lake McQueeney and Lake Placid – also began a few months after the 2019 incident. It was announced that these lakes and a few others would be drained to avoid a similar catastrophe down the road. However, this decision was changed once local residents and officials reached an agreement that allowed each lake to remain filled until it was time to work on its respective dam.

In other words, lakes like McQueeney and Placid are still under construction. But once their dams are investigated and repaired as necessary, they’ll be up and going strong once again.

What Does This Mean? More Lake Dunlap Waterfront Homes for Sale

Whether you’re already in the Texas Hill Country or are interested in moving to the area, the dam repair and water refilling at Lake Dunlap might affect you in more ways than one.

The dam isn’t the only thing that’s regenerated; we predict interest in Lake Dunlap homes for sale will be at an all-time high following this change. It’s the prime time to invest in lake houses in Lake Dunlap, especially as boating and other water activity returns in earnest.

At The Lakefront Group, we work diligently to stay up to date on all things Texas lakes, including some of the best deals on the market. Contact us today to learn more about life on Lake Dunlap and how you can find the lakefront property of your dreams.

Lake House Alert

Create an alert and be the first to know when properties are listed, including off-market listings. We just send listings (no junk email). 

Lake Houses For Sale in Texas

Create an Alert


Leave a Comment

Format example:
Format example:

Sign Up For Lake House Alerts