How flooding on the Llano River affects Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Areas in the Hill Country near the Llano River are experiencing flooding after torrential rain west of Fredericksburg early Monday. After overflowing the banks of that river, the water is headed downstream and raising the level of Lake Travis significantly.

While flood damage is never good, the added water at Lake Travis will help boost the drinking water supply for Austin and surrounding areas.

The Llano River crested in Llano Monday night at 24 feet and is now receding, but flood waters are still flowing through the Highland Lakes, bringing a wave of elevated, rushing water through Kingsland and Lake LBJ early Tuesday. Since the LCRA maintains lakes LBJ and downstream Marble Falls at relatively constant levels, they are having to move water downstream through Wirtz and Starcke dams into Lake Travis.

As the water moves, the LCRA conducts flood operations to try to mitigate the amount of potential damage along the shoreline. Dams along the water's route can be used to control the flow of water and the levels of each of the Highland Lakes.

Early Tuesday morning, Lake Travis stood at just 68 percent full, so it can handle the intake.

"This water will not affect Lake Austin or Lady Bird Lake," Meteorologist David Yeomans said. "Travis is designed to capture and store it, and it's doing exactly that."

As of Tuesday at 8 a.m., Lake Travis is at 660 feet. The LCRA predicts the additional water could make it rise four to five feet. The last time it was in that range was in June. The highest Lake Travis has ever been is 710 feet, which happened Christmas Day 1991.


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