Debris washed up on the banks of the Llano River at Grenwelge Park in Llano on Oct. 17. Staff photo by Jared Fields
FROM STAFF REPORTS
The Lower Colorado River Authority is reminding Highland Lakes residents that though Llano River flows have decreased since early Tuesday, Oct. 16, flood operations are still underway throughout the chain of lakes.
The authority described the recent event as “historic flooding.” As of 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, flood operations were underway at Buchanan, Inks, Wirtz, Max Starcke, Mansfield, and Tom Miller dams. All the lakes are experiencing fast-moving water.
LCRA officials expect Lake Travis to reach 705-710 feet (mean sea level) by Friday, Oct. 19. The highest the lake has ever reached was during December 1991 flooding, when it hit 710.44 feet above mean sea level.
Rainfall above Lake Buchanan and along the Colorado and San Saba river watersheds — as well as the Llano River and Sandy Creek watersheds — are adding to the amount of water flowing through the Highland Lakes.
On Oct. 16, the LCRA reported that inflows to Lake Buchanan were increasing. The LCRA had opened five flood gates at Buchanan Dam late Tuesday and through the night, but, on Wednesday, the authority began opening additional flood gates, bringing the total to eight.
Lake Buchanan is expected to remain 1,018-1,020 feet above mean sea level for the next 24 hours (from 12:45 p.m Oct. 17).
Downstream, water continued to flow over the Inks Lake spillway, which doesn’t have flood gates. The LCRA was operating four flood gates at Wirtz Dam (Lake LBJ) and had opened all 10 of the Max Starcke Dam (Lake Marble Falls) flood gates.
With all that water pouring into the Colorado River below Max Starcke and making its way into Lake Travis, along with additional water from the Pedernales River, the LCRA is advising people along the lake and Colorado River to be aware of rising water.
The LCRA opened four flood gates at Mansfield Dam to pass along water. Four flood gates at Tom Miller Dam (Lake Austin) are partially open.