AUSTIN (KXAN) - Crews at the Watershed Protection Command Center were busy Friday keeping an eye on flooding hot spots in Austin or Travis County and dispatching crews to the area.
The Flooding Early Warning System helps the team monitor water levels and act quickly when fast moving water fills up area creeks.
The workers oversee 112 low water crossings in the county along with creeks prone to flooding. Floater devices and gauges help point out trouble spots. Their big board, which you can access at ATXfloods.com , lights up red when high water rushes in, prompting crews to react.
New technology, way beyond simple rain gauges, will also hopefully help the team stay ahead of the storms.
"Typically it was just us seeing a bunch of numbers, but now we have now we have computers that can interpret those numbers and present them on a computer screen in a better fashion," said Kevin Shunk, flood plain administrator.. "That rainfall data can be fed in to our predictive flood plain maps that not only tell us where it's raining and how much it's raining, but tell us before it happens."
Their regular compliment of road crews should ordinarily be sufficient, but if it gets overwhelming, they can all in firefighters or the police.
Crews at the center will be on hand for as long as it takes, but they say the maximum risk is still ahead. As darkness descends it's harder to spot low water crossings or washed out roads. If there's any doubt, turn around.
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