Flood Operations Report

Summary

Last Update: 2/21/2017 4:29:37 PM

This report provides the latest information when LCRA conducts flood operations, and is updated when conditions warrant. Flood operations at the Highland Lakes dams are not anticipated at this time.

A large system of showers and thunderstorms brought widespread, soaking rains to the Colorado River basin on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. Heavier rains over Fayette and Colorado counties caused increased flow in Cummins Creek and the Colorado River at La Grange and Columbus. The Colorado River at Wharton and the San Bernard River at East Bernard have exceeded Bank Full stage, but are expected to remain below Flood stage.

LCRA is passing storm runoff safely through lakes Inks, LBJ, Marble Falls, Travis and Austin using hydroelectric generation as needed. No water has been released from Lake Buchanan, and no releases are planned at this time.

See the Central Texas 5-Day Forecast for the latest weather updates from LCRA meteorologist, Bob Rose.

See the River Report for current information about LCRA's daily water supply operations and long-range forecasts for lakes Buchanan and Travis.

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.

Current Lake Levels at Dams and Gate Operations

*Disclaimer: Data is automatically retrieved and subject to revision.
Lake/DamTimeHead Elevation (Above Dam)Tail Elevation (Below Dam)Gate Operations/Spillway
Buchanan/BuchananFeb 21 2017 5:15PM1017.65887.18Feb 21 2017 4:29PM No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Buchanan Dam at this time.
Inks/InksFeb 21 2017 5:15PM887.11824.88Feb 21 2017 4:29PM Flow over the spillway of Inks Dam is not expected at this time. (Inks Dam has no floodgates)
LBJ/WirtzFeb 21 2017 5:00PM824.57736.69Feb 21 2017 4:29PM No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Wirtz Dam at this time.
Marble Falls/StarckeFeb 21 2017 5:15PM736.35683.26Feb 21 2017 4:29PM No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Starcke Dam at this time.
Travis/MansfieldFeb 21 2017 5:15PM682.84493.51Feb 21 2017 4:30PM No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Mansfield Dam at this time.
Austin/MillerFeb 21 2017 5:00PM492.09430.81Feb 21 2017 4:30PM No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Tom Miller Dam at this time.
Bastrop/BastropFeb 21 2017 5:10PM448.470.00Feb 21 2017 4:30PM No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Lake Bastrop Dam at this time.
 

Lake Levels Over the Last:

*Disclaimer: Data is automatically retrieved and subject to revision.

Floodgate Operations and Forecasts

Buchanan Dam

Lake Buchanan

Last Update: Feb 21 2017 4:29PM
Inflows: Inflows to Lake Buchanan are below levels that would require gate operations to pass floodwaters at Buchanan Dam.
Gate Operations: No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Buchanan Dam at this time.
Lake level forecast:

The level of Lake Buchanan is expected to remain between 1017 to 1018 feet msl for the next several days.


Inks Dam

Inks Lake

Last Update: Feb 21 2017 4:29PM
Inflows: Inflows to Inks Lake are below levels that would cause floodwaters to pass over the spillway of Inks Dam.
Gate Operations: Flow over the spillway of Inks Dam is not expected at this time. (Inks Dam has no floodgates)
Lake level forecast: The level of Inks Lake is expected to remain within its normal operating range.

Wirtz Dam

Lake LBJ

Last Update: Feb 21 2017 4:29PM
Inflows: Inflows to Lake LBJ are below levels that would require gate operations to pass floodwaters at Wirtz Dam.
Gate Operations: No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Wirtz Dam at this time.
Lake level forecast:

The level of Lake LBJ is expected to remain within its normal operating range.

Max Starcke Dam

Lake Marble Falls

Last Update: Feb 21 2017 4:29PM
Inflows: Inflows to Lake Marble Falls are below levels that would require gate operations to pass floodwaters at Starcke Dam.
Gate Operations: No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Starcke Dam at this time.
Lake level forecast: The level of Lake Marble Falls is expected to remain within its normal operating range.

Mansfield Dam

Lake Travis

Last Update: Feb 21 2017 4:30PM
Inflows: Inflows to Lake Travis are below levels that would require gate operations to pass floodwaters at Mansfield Dam.
Gate Operations: No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Mansfield Dam at this time.
Lake level forecast:

The level of Lake Travis is expected to remain between 682 to 683 feet msl for the next several days.

Tom Miller Dam

Lake Austin

Last Update: Feb 21 2017 4:30PM
Inflows: Inflows to Lake Austin are below levels that would require gate operations to pass floodwaters at Tom Miller Dam.
Gate Operations: No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Tom Miller Dam at this time.
Lake level forecast:

The level of Lake Austin is expected to remain within its normal operating range.

Lady Bird Lake near Longhorn Dam





LCRA does not own or operate Lady Bird Lake and Longhorn Dam. Lake levels are shown for information, but forecasts are not available.

Lake Bastrop at Sim Gideon Power Plant

Lake Bastrop

Last Update: Feb 21 2017 4:30PM
Inflows: Inflows are below levels that would require flood operations.
Gate Operations: No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Lake Bastrop Dam at this time.
Lake level forecast: The level of Lake Bastrop is expected to remain within its normal operating range.

River Levels - Current Conditions

Bankfull Stage
Flood Stage
NWS Forecast

River Levels - Forecast Conditions

River forecasts are provided by the National Weather Service River Forecast Center. Click on the "Forecast" link to view the forecast and other useful information for each location.
*Disclaimer: Data is automatically retrieved and subject to revision.
Bankfull Stage
Flood Stage


NWS Bankfull Stage

Current Stage (feet)

NWS Flood Stage

Current Flow (cfs)



Links

LCRA Hydromet Real Time Data
http://hydromet.lcra.org/

LCRA Weather Summary
http://www.lcra.org/water/river-and-weather/weather-summary/Pages/default.aspx

How LCRA's System of Dams Works
http://www.lcra.org/water/floods/Pages/how-lcra-system-of-dams-works.aspx

Key elevations for Lake Travis during floods
http://www.lcra.org/water/flood/laketravisreleases.html

Management of Lake Buchanan during floods
http://www.lcra.org/water/water-supply/highland-lakes-overview/Documents/management-of-lake-buchanan-fact-sheet.pdf

Emergency Information for City of Austin (includes boating restrictions)
http://www.austintexas.gov/department/hsem

Road Closures in Austin and Surrounding Areas (hosted by City of Austin)
http://www.atxfloods.com/

USGS Real-time Streamflow for Texas
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/tx/nwis/current/?type=flow

USGS Real-time Lakes and Reservoirs for Texas
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/tx/nwis/current?type=lake

NWS 5-day Rain Forecasts
http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/qpf/day1-5.shtml

NWS West Gulf River Forecast Center Quick Briefing
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/wgrfc/HMDmain.php

NWS San Angelo Weather Office and Flood Forecasts Map
http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=sjt

NWS Austin/San Antonio Weather Office and Flood Forecasts Map
http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=ewx

NWS Houston/Galveston Weather Office and Flood Forecasts Map
http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=hgx

NWS Doppler Radars
http://radar.weather.gov/ridge/Conus/southplains.php
http://radar.weather.gov/ridge/Conus/full_loop.php

NWS Storm Prediction Center (Tornadoes and severe storms)
http://www.spc.noaa.gov

NWS National Hurricane Center (Hurricanes and tropical storms)
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

Words and Definitions

Action Stage: The stage at which some sort of action is taken for a point along the river. Action Stage is different for all points depending on the community's needs - it may be flooding of secondary roads or just a "heads up" that the river is rising. Action Stage is determined by the National Weather Service. Sometimes used interchangeably with Bank Full Stage.

Bank Full Stage: The stage at which a river will not overflow its river banks or cause any significant damage within the river reach. Bank Full Stage is determined by the National Weather Service. Sometimes used interchangeably with action stage.

Cubic Feet per Second (cfs): A measure of streamflow. One CFS is equal to about 450 gallons per minute.

Elevation: The height of water in a lake or reservoir above mean sea level.

Flash Flood: A flood which follows within a few hours of heavy or excessive rainfall.

Flash Flood Warning: Flash flooding has been reported or is imminent – take necessary precautions.

Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible within the designated watch area – be alert.

Floodgates: Solid gates that are opened as needed to release floodwaters.

Flood Stage: The stage at which roads or buildings begin to get affected. Flood Stage is determined by the National Weather Service.

Hydrogeneration: Using water that is passed through a dam to generate electrical power with a turbine.

Mean Sea Level (msl): The elevation of the ocean halfway between high and low tide. Elevations are measured in feet above mean sea level as a point of reference.

Operating Range: The elevations between which the lakes are operated during normal conditions. Lake levels can fluctuate outside of these ranges at times.

Pass-Through Lakes: Lakes designed to allow water to pass through as opposed to being stored. Pass-through lakes do not have a constant level. Lakes Inks, LBJ, Marble Falls and Austin are "pass-through" lakes.

Spillway: The area of a dam that is designed to allow water to flow freely over it.

Stage: The height of water flowing in a river above a nearby reference point, for example, the height of the water above the river bed.