NWS: More rain on Friday could cause additional flooding

The floodgates are open at Buchanan Dam. Photo copyright of Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

The floodgates at Buchanan Dam. Photo copyright of Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

CORRECTION: In the story, we stated that the LCRA had opened eight floodgates on Oct. 17, but this was incorrect. They only opened four.

FROM STAFF REPORTS

After days of devastating flooding, the Highland Lakes isn’t out of danger yet.

The National Weather Service has extended a flash flood watch that encompasses the entire Highland Lakes through Friday evening. The service estimates new rainfall through Oct. 19 could total 1-2 inches with some isolated pockets of 5 inches.

With the ground already saturated and many lakes and rivers at high levels, the additional rain could contribute to flooding.

The NWS anticipates the heaviest rain to fall late Friday morning through the afternoon.

There is an 80 percent chance of rain through Thursday night and a 70 percent chance Friday into Saturday morning. The rain chances continue through Saturday then appear to drop off Saturday night into Sunday.

The Lower Colorado River Authority is continuing flood operations along the chain of lakes. It is operating four flood gates at Mansfield Dam as of Oct. 18.

“It is possible we will need to open up four additional floodgates over the next few days,” according to the LCRA’s website. The authority predicts Lake Travis will reach 705-710 feet above mean sea level sometime Friday. The all-time high for Lake Travis is 710.44 feet, reached in December 1991.

The LCRA is still operating floodgates (as of 4 p.m. Oct. 18) at Buchanan Dam (eight), Wirtz Dam (one fully open, three partially open), and Max Starcke Dam (seven fully, one partially).

The LCRA is asking everyone near or around the lakes and rivers to be aware of rising water. Go to LCRA.org for updates on flood conditions.

editor@thepicayune.com

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