Heavy rains Sept. 21 near Sonora caused a rush of water downstream on the Llano River and flooding Sept. 23 at the Kingsland Slab. Even more water is expected overnight Oct. 8 after heavy rains near Junction. Photo courtesy of Phil Ort
STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
More heavy rains in the western Hill Country will impact the Highland Lakes in the coming days.
The flood stage at the Llano dam is just 10 feet. The river is predicted to remain at a moderate flood level of nearly 13 feet after the crest until about 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10. More water from the west will push the river stage up to about 20 feet.
The NWS forecast shows the river falling under flood stage by midday Thursday, Oct. 11.
The Llano River joins the Colorado River in Kingsland, which means the Lower Colorado River Authority is predicting flood gate operations for Wirtz and Starcke dams on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ron Anderson, emergency management coordinator for Llano County, said the flood level is significant but not catastrophic.
“For the most part, the impacts will be minimal. There will be road closures, of course,” he said. “Those who live immediately on the river need to take precautions.”
Those precautions include removing boats from the lake or securing them to docks and moving furniture and items from the riverfront.
A media release from the city of Marble Falls states that Lake Marble Falls is “expected to remain within its normal operating range.”
However, residents along the lake are cautioned to secure boats and other items in preparation of fast-moving currents.
“Residents should also monitor weather conditions over the next couple of days,” the release said. “Any additional rainfall west of or in the Hill Country may change these conditions.”
The National Weather Service forecast includes an 80 percent chance of rain Monday and Tuesday in Junction with another 2 inches of rain possible. The same amount could fall in Llano.
Because of the previous rainfall, and the threat of more to come, the NWS has issued a flood warning for the Llano River until Thursday afternoon.
Llano City Manager Scott Edmonson said he asks people to follow the “turn around, don’t drown” rule and stay a safe distance from the water.
“Currently, we are not expecting any damage except for maybe in our parks,” he said. “Our main concern at this point is citizen safety.”
Low-water crossings will be closed. Anderson said Llano County roads now are included on atxfloods.com, which lists road closures in Travis, Hays, Bastrop, Burnet, and Llano counties.