Hays County launches new flood-monitoring website

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) -- Hays County residents now have a better way to check on possible flooding dangers and how much rain has fallen in the area with the launch of a one-stop emergency information website.

People can go to HaysInformed.com and check on the status of 22 low-water crossings in the area, as well as 10 precipitation gauges. The effort to improve monitoring began following the floods in 2015. Developing the system took about a year, and it also allows emergency responders to access video of several potentially dangerous areas as well as information from five monitors on dams along the Blanco River, according to Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator Justin McInnis.

"The monitors will allow authorities to determine the height of water across the roads and behind dams and show potential damage to the roads, which will allow responding agencies to pre-plan rescue operations," McInnis said.

Within the next year, officials plan to add five more low-water crossings, drought data and river-monitoring data. It will also incorporate the City of Austin's ATXFloods map as well. The project costs about $2.2 million, with $500,000 of that coming from the Texas Water Development Board.

When the Memorial Day weekend flood happened in 2015, numerous USGS flood flow gauges were destroyed. During the storm, when the gauge in Wimberley washed away, the cubic feet per second (cps) reading went from about 700 cps to 70,000 cps. The reading literally went off the chart before the transmission went dead late on May 23.


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