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Flash flooding possible through Thursday

Flash flood watch in the Highland Lakes

Marble Falls city workers barricaded the low-water crossing on Avenue L on May 17 after heavy rain pushed water over the road. With more rain in the forecast, officials are reminding people not to drive over flooded roads and low-water crossings. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

A flash flood watch is in effect in the Highland Lakes through Thursday, May 20, as several storms could dump 2-6 inches on the area. The National Weather Service issued the watch for Burnet and Llano counties and most of the Hill Country. 

Officials are reminding people to be extremely careful when approaching low-water crossings and flooded streets. 

“If there’s water across the road, don’t drive through it,” said Marble Falls Fire Rescue Chief Russell Sander, who is also the city of Marble Falls emergency management coordinator. 

Drivers can face tickets and fines if driving around barricaded low-water crossings and roads that have flooded. It only takes a few inches of water over a road to dislodge vehicles and endanger lives.

Even if a barricade isn’t up, Sander advised people to not drive through flooded areas.

“Since these gates are manual, it does take city staff a while to close them,” he said. “It’s very important (drivers) don’t drive through it.”

The National Weather Service’s Tuesday forecast calls for a 90 percent chance of severe thunderstorms. Rain chances decrease slightly on Wednesday during the day but pick up that night with heavy rains into Thursday and precipitation continuing through the end of the week.

The Lower Colorado River Authority will be monitoring lake levels.

“Storm runoff is generating elevated flows and flooding is possible,” according to the authority’s Flood Operations Report. “LCRA will be closely monitoring for inflows to the Highland Lakes that might require hydroelectric generation to pass storm runoff or floodgate operations to pass floodwaters through any of the Highland Lakes dams.”

You can sign up for the LCRA’s Flood Operations Notification System to receive alerts for the Highland Lakes. Also, Warn Central Texas sends out localized emergency alerts and notifications. 

Staff writers Jennifer Fierro and Brigid Cooley contributed to this report.