Just a week ago, Falcon Dam was releasing water over the spillway into the Rio Grande at a record rate, 1700 cubic meters per second.
Now, that record flow has been cut nearly in half, and water that flooded over the rivers banks and filled the floodways and Arroyo Colorado for several weeks has begun to subside.
At the height of the releases, Mario Gomez acting operating manager of Falcon Dam gave Action 4 News an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Falcon. We were even granted access to the very top of the dam accessible only by a steep and winding staircase.
The view from the top was spectacular, as an unprecedented volume of water raced over the spillway|.an historic event that may never be seen again.
Mario Gomez, Acting Operating Manager of Falcon Dam, says, "We have never had this amount of water for this long period of time. We have never made these types of releases here. These are the most releases Falcon has ever experienced."
Since its completion in 1953, Falcon Dam had never dealt with this volume of water, but carefully planned releases that began early after hurricane Alex made landfall in Mexico helped mitigate flooding downstream.
Gomez says, "Without Falcon Dam, the Valley would be in tough shape. It would be a couple of feet under water."
Below Falcon, Anzalduas Dam near Mission diverted more than half the floodwaters into the floodway system and Arroyo Colorado preventing the flooding of Brownsville and Matamoros.
Controlled releases are scheduled to continue for the next several weeks, but barring a major weather event the record flood of 2010 is finally subsiding.
With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore.