LIVE BLOG: Colorado, Llano River flooding updates

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Floodwaters go over Starcke Dam on Oct. 16, 2018

Heavy rain has caused flooding in Central Texas along the Llano River and downstream. 

10:22 a.m. Friday

The LCRA does not anticipate opening more floodgates at Mansfield Dam Friday as of 10 a.m. However, this could change depending on conditions.

“Additional rainfall could cause LCRA to need to open up to four additional floodgates at Mansfield Dam to move floodwaters downstream,” the LCRA wrote. “If that happens, we will alert the public and local officials immediately.”

Lake Travis is expected to rise between 704 and 706 feet above mean sea level Friday and Saturday.

11 p.m. Thursday 

Lake Travis has reached 703 feet — the fifth highest flood on record. The LCRA says the lake still could reach the 710 level in the coming days, which would force the opening of four more flood gates on Mansfield dam — a record number. This would send even more surging water down Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake into the Colorado River below Austin. 

More rain is developing an another one to two inches could fall by Friday night with some isolated totals of four to five inches. This will trigger more flash flooding and river flooding. 

1 p.m. 

The Lower Colorado River Authority may open up to 8 floodgates at Mansfield Dam, which contains Lake Travis. Four are currently open. If eight gates are open, it would be the most ever opened at the dam, the LCRA said, referring to this historic flooding event as “unprecedented.”

Homeowners along Lake Austin — below Mansfield Dam — should take precautions ahead of possible flooding, LCRA officials said.

Lake Travis climbed 21 feet from noon Tuesday to noon Wednesday and is more than 100 percent full. In the last week, more water has been captured in Lake Travis than the city of Austin typically uses in four years.

There are a total of 24 gates on Mansfield Dam and 37 gates on Buchanan Dam, which currently has eight gates open.

11:20 a.m.

Marble Falls public water customers need to boil water before drinking, brushing teeth or washing their hands and faces.

The boil water notice went out Wednesday at 10 a.m., a day after Kingsland residents were also told to boil water following widespread flooding along the Colorado and Llano rivers.

The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. Residents can also buy bottled water instead of using boiled water.

The city will send out a notice when the water is safe to drink again. 

9:59 a.m.

The LCRA will open four more floodgates at Buchanan Dam Wednesday morning, bringing the total to eight. They will open one at a time at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

6:58 a.m.

Some residents in Kingsland are without water after flooding damaged water pumps.

People throughout the area are also asked to conserve water, and boil water until further notice.

Both of Kingsland Water’s pumps were “made useless” by the flood, according to Operations Manager Chris Dunbar. Currently, a 300 gallon/minute pump is in use, but can’t keep up with demand. He says a replacement is on site but they have to remove debris and turn off the water before installing the replacement.

Comanche Ranch, Lakewood Forest 1, Bridgepoint and Kingsland Ranch do still have water because their subdivisions use groundwater.

2:52 a.m.

Road status getting to Kingsland, from the Llano County Sheriff’s Office:

RM 3404: Llano River Crossing closed at the Slab

RM 1431: Bridge is open

RM 2900: Bridge is destroyed

Wednesday 1:42 a.m.

The Granite Shoals Police Department is monitoring for a potential rise in water and is patrolling the area to keep an eye on peoples’ property. 

“If you don’t have to travel near the effected lake front area, please do not. There are many objects, debris, and watercraft on roadways or in yards,” it wrote on its Facebook. People should also be on the lookout for displaced snakes and should be cautious as they clean up because “Who knows what all has flooded into the watershed including bacteria and other substances.”

Police will assess damage once it gets light and will try to identify beached watercraft. GSPD asks people not call 911 if they discover boats or docks on their property. 

11:50 p.m.

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 500 AM CDT FOR
NORTHWESTERN TRAVIS AND SOUTH CENTRAL BURNET COUNTIES…

AT 1116 PM CDT, GAUGE REPORTS INDICATED RAPID RISES OF THE COLORADO 
RIVER UPSTREAM FROM LAKE TRAVIS ARE PRODUCING FLASH FLOODING OVER 
LOWER SHORELINES OF LAKE TRAVIS.

SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE…
LAKEWAY, HUDSON BEND, MANSFIELD DAM, BRIARCLIFF, POINT VENTURE AND 
VOLENTE. ROADWAYS CONNECTING THESE COMMUNITIES MAY BE CUT OFF BY THE 
RISING WATERS. WATER MAY BEGIN ENTERING THE HOMES ON THE LOWEST 
SHORES OF LAKE TRAVIS SHORTLY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING.
IF YOU ARE IN THE WARNED AREA MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY.
RESIDENTS LIVING ALONG STREAMS AND CREEKS SHOULD TAKE IMMEDIATE
PRECAUTIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY.
 

10:00 p.m.

Flood operations at Buchanan Dam began at 10 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16. LCRAplans to open one floodgate an hour for four hours, for a total of fourfloodgates. Take action to protect people and property.

The following gates were opened this evening:
10 p.m.: One gate from the 14-gate section.
11 p.m.: One gate from the 16-gate section.

The following gates will be opened in this order:
Midnight: One gate from the 14-gate section.
1 a.m.: One gate from the 16-gate section.

Lake Buchanan is forecast to rise to 1,018 to 1,020 feet msl and then be gradually drawn by flood releases to 1,018 feet msl over the following day ortwo.

With floodgates open at Lake Buchanan, there will be flood operations underway at each of the dams along the Highland Lakes  – Buchanan, Inks, Wirtz, Starcke, Travis, andTom Miller.  Dangerous fast-moving water is flowing through the entire chain of Highland Lakes, and water levels on lakes LBJ, Marble Falls and the upper end of Lake Travis are very high as this dangerous flood is being passed through the lakes.  The Llano River destroyed the FM 2900 bridge at Kingsland – where the Llano River enters Lake LBJ – the morning of Oct. 16.

8:39 p.m.

Kingsland Water customers are being told to boil their water before consumption (including brushing teeth and washing hands), due to Llano River flooding and low system pressures.

“To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes,” Kingsland Water Supply Corp. said.

7:42 p.m.

Avenue S in Marble Falls has been reopened.  Traffic will be allowed in and out of the Pecan Valley/Meadowlakes area.

Residents are advised that their homes may be without power when they return, and conditions may change causing Avenue S to close again.

7:14 p.m.

Austin Energy working to restore power to approximately 2,000 customers in the Sunset Valley/Westgate area.

The ACC South Austin campus is closed Tuesday evening due to the power outage.

5:41 p.m.

Llano ISD schools will remain closed Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Burnet CISD will be delayed Wednesday. Buses will run 2 hours late, and school start time will be 2-hours late.

Harper ISD will also be delayed 2-hours until 10 a.m.

5:34 p.m.

The Lower Colorado River Authority will open the fourth floodgate at Mansfield and Tom Miller dams at 7 p.m.

4:56 p.m.

The LCRA will open the floodgates at Buchanan Dam Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning.

As of 4 p.m., three floodgates have been opened at both Mansfield and Tom Miller Dams. 

The LCRA has closed lakes Buchanan, Inks, LBJ, Marble Falls, and Travis until further notice.

4:22 p.m.

Austin High School is having an early dismissal Tuesday due to rising floodwater coming from the Llano River.

Austin High will also be canceling all after-school athletics and extra-curricular activities. 

4:15 p.m.

A school bus driver and a middle school student had to be rescued Tuesday morning after the driver tried to go through a flooded low-water crossing.

The student was treated by Williamson County EMS and released to family. 

The bus was swept away at 8:28 a.m. in Brushy Creek on County Road 177, heading east from Ronald Reagan Boulevard toward County Road 175.

3:16 p.m.

Hike and bike trails remain closed along the Colorado River near Lady Bird Lake. 

1:48 p.m. 

A body was found in Burnet County along the Colorado River between Kingsland and Granite Shoals, according to Rep. Terry Wilson. The justice of the peace has confirmed the death.

1:29 p.m.

A number of streets are closed in Marble Falls: Avenue S, Avenue N, Johnson Street, Avenue J at Johnson Park, Second Street and Third Street.

Officials say there is no access to Pecan Valley or the City of Meadowlakes.

1:26 p.m.

The Travis County Sheriff is going door-to-door in Graveyard Point to tell residents about rising waters on Lake Travis. These are voluntary evacuations.

1:21 p.m.

The Ann And Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail will close as the Austin Fire Department announced a waterways ban. Water levels at Lady Bird Lake could increase 2-3 feet over the next few hours, according to the Austin Parks & Recreation Department. 

“Trails may be impacted by water, erosion and other hazards,” it said, which is why it’s shutting down the trail.

1:07 p.m.

Updates on traffic closures due to flooding:

12:53 p.m.

Highland Haven, Texas in Burnet County along Lake LBJ is being evacuated

12:46 p.m.

People who have evacuated in Granite Shoals can go to First Baptist Church at 505 S. Phillips Ranch Road

11:57 a.m.

Williamson County conducted two water rescues because of flooding Tuesday morning. One was a vehicle in high water off CR 251 in Andice, and both people were transported to a local hospital. 

The second was a school bus off CR 177 in Leander. The driver and one student on broad were rescued without injuries. 

11:56 a.m.

Waterways in Austin are shut down for 48 hours, according to the Austin Fire Department. Water from the Llano River upstream will be entering Austin waterways and so AFD is banning boating and recreational use of water on Lake Austin from Mansfield Dam to Tom Miller Dam, Lady Bird Lake, and the Colorado River downstream of the Longhorn Dam. 

“These conditions have created high and swift waters, which combined with debris, has made recreational, commercial, and navigational use of all water ways including all creeks within the City of Austin unsafe,” AFD wrote.

11:56 a.m.

Avenue S at the railroad tracks in Marble Falls is closed because of high water. The city says there is no access to Meadowlakes or Pecan Valley

11:51 a.m.

A majority of the Texas State campus in San Marcos is experiencing a power outage, as are many people in the community. Classes starting at noon and 12:30 p.m. have been canceled 

11:47 a.m.

The Austin Fire Department says it has responded to nearly a dozen water rescues on 1431 in Kingsland

11:29 a.m.

The City of Llano cannot treat water, so it is asking residents to “observe ESSENTIAL WATER USE only.”

11:19 a.m.

A fire in Kingsland is burning at a home, but high water is keeping firefighters from fighting it, according to a Kingsland Municipal Utility worker.

11:05 a.m.

The City of Horseshoe Bay is evacuating residents on Lighthouse Drive and the Cape, part of Island Drive to Goose Point, and Wenmohs. A shelter is available at the Church of Horseshoe Bay Social Hall

11:02 a.m.

The Shady River RV Park at 7400 Highway 29 on the San Gabriel River east of Georgetown is evacuating

10:54 a.m.

The LCRA will open the Mansfield and Tom Miller dams at noon

10:47 a.m.

Fifth graders are being evacuated at Camp Champions at 775 Camp Road off the Colorado River.

10:18 a.m. 

The FM 1431 bridge in Kingsland has closed because of rising floodwaters.

10:18 a.m.

A mother and her child were rescued after their vehicle washed off County Road 252 near Andice, according to Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody. “Do not cross water at low water crossings!” Chody tweeted.

10:06 a.m.

Granite Shoals police say lakefront residents should evacuate.

10:05 a.m.

Barton Creek Greenbelt is closed as water levels are expected to increase over the next few hours. Trails could be affected by erosion and mud, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department said.

9:45 a.m.

The Marble Falls Wastewater Plant is stressed because of flooding. People are asked to minimize the use of water, including doing laundry and dishes and to reduce showering and toilet flushing.

9:35 a.m.

The Farm to Market 2900 bridge in Kingsland over Lake LBJ has collapsed.

9:25 a.m.

LCRA is closing lakes Travis, Marble Falls, LBJ, Inks and Buchanan effective immediately, until further notice.

9:04 a.m.

Road closures in Hutto include: CR 199 is from 1660 East; CR 137 is underwater, police are assisting with traffic control; FM 1660 N to Metcalfe use caution.

9:01 a.m.

Marble Falls adds to the evacuations. 

The Llano County office of emergency management is trying to evacuate people from vulnerable areas around the river. Anyone within one-fourth of a mile of the river should evacuate immediately, the Llano County Office of Emergency Management said at 8:20 a.m.

The city of Marble Falls also warned residents to evacuate, including those who are at “Live Oak, Lakeshore Drive, Pecan Circle, Backbone, Barrier Lane, Louise, Edith, So. Ave. J, 2147 W, including Waterside and RV Park. Also evacuate Hackberry and McDonald.” 

Llano shelters:

  • Kingsland Community Center at 3451 Rose Hill Dr.
  • First Baptist Church at 107 W. Luce St.
  • Inman’s Kitchen at 809 W. Young St.

Marble Falls shelters:

  • City of Meadowlakes City Hall at 177 Broadmoor St.
  • Marble Falls Middle School at 1511 Pony Dr. 

8:49 a.m.

Enchanted Rock is closed for the day as roads into the park are flooded.

8:33 a.m. 

Swift water rescue teams from Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and area fire departments are headed to Llano and Kingsland to assist with flooding. 

Round Rock Fire Department will send a boat with three people. Cedar Park Fire Department will send a boat with a battalion chief and four people. The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office will send a boat with three people. The Williamson County Fire Marshall’s Office/Special Operations will send a captain to help with coordination,” Williamson County said.

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