Weather Blog

LCRA opens floodgates as flooding concerns increase

Floodgate operations releasing water from Lakes Travis and Buchanan

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) has begun floodgate operations along the Highland Lakes to move storm runoff downstream.

  • One floodgate was opened at Mansfield Dam at 6 p.m.
  • One floodgate in the 14-gate section of Buchanan Dam was opened at 6 p.m. 
  • Two floodgates at Tom Miller Dam were partially opened at 7 p.m.
  • Water will be flowing over the spillway at Inks Dam, which does not have any floodgates, overnight.

Besides opening the floodgates, LCRA will continue to move water downstream through hydroelectric generation at Buchanan, Inks, Wirtz, Starcke, Mansfield and Tom Miller dams.

At this time LCRA does not plan to open floodgates at Starcke or Wirtz dams, but that could change with additional rain.

LCRA is closely monitoring the weather and inflows to the Highland Lakes and is ready to open additional floodgates at dams along the lakes, if necessary.

Lake Travis is projected to remain about 685 feet mean sea level — about four feet into the lake’s flood pool — overnight.

The basin is saturated and rain is in the forecast through the weekend. Conditions can change rapidly, and everyone should stay alert to local conditions and be ready to take action to stay safe. 

See the Hydromet for the latest real-time data on rainfall, streamflow and lake levels.

When flash flooding occurs, avoid unnecessary travel. If you must travel, don't drive into flooded roadways. Remember "Turn around, don't drown."

Unscheduled releases from the Highland Lakes dams may occur suddenly and unexpectedly at any time due to emergency hydroelectric generation or other reasons. The public should exercise caution and avoid being in the water near the dams at all times.

In addition, due to debris in Lake Travis, the LCRA has announced these restrictions:

Effective at 5 p.m. Thursday, LCRA is closing a portion of north Lake Travis to nighttime recreational boating because of a large flood debris field. The affected area is an 11-mile portion of Lake Travis from mile marker 31 upstream to Starcke Dam, and a nine-mile area of the Pedernales River from the confluence with the Colorado River to the Highway 71 bridge. While daytime boating is not restricted, boaters are advised to use extra caution.

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