Flood Operations Report

Summary

Last Update: 1/18/2017 2:20:21 PM

Waves of moderate to heavy rain moved across Central Texas, the eastern Hill Country and parts of the coastal plains region last night and this morning, producing widespread totals of 1 to 3 inches. LCRA is releasing storm runoff through hydroelectric generation at one or more of the Highland Lakes. Floodgate operations to pass floodwaters are not planned at this time. However, conditions may change rapidly with additional rainfall or higher inflows. The Colorado River downstream of Tom Miller Dam remains elevated due to the rains earlier today. See the River Levels and Forecasts section below for more details. Widespread rainfall is expected to continue over the Colorado River watershed today through tonight, and additional storm runoff and flooding are possible. LCRA is closely monitoring conditions and encourages the public to remain alert to local conditions and be prepared to take protective actions.

If flood operations are needed, lake levels may change suddenly. Anyone in or near the lakes should exercise extreme caution. Equipment and tools should not be left in the lakebed of Lake Austin or Lake LBJ overnight, and all equipment should be removed from the shoreline when not in use.

LCRA has temporarily lowered lakes LBJ and Austin to allow property owners to perform needed dock repairs and other maintenance, and to help thwart the growth of nuisance aquatic vegetation. Lake LBJ is lowered about 4 feet, and Lake Austin is lowered about 10 feet. Water released from Lake LBJ for the drawdown is being temporarily stored in Lake Travis for later use. Lake Travis may rise as high as 683 feet msl through April 1, 2017, as water from the drawdowns is slowly and safely released. The drawdowns began Jan. 2, and will be concluded by Feb. 13. Lake refills will begin the week of Feb. 6. Lake refills will begin the week of Feb. 6. Please see lake lowerings for more information.

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.

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."

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/BuchananJan 19 2017 2:30AM1017.96887.10Jan 18 2017 1:44PM No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Buchanan Dam at this time.
Inks/InksJan 19 2017 2:30AM887.05822.63Jan 18 2017 1:44PM Flow over the spillway of Inks Dam is not expected at this time. (Inks Dam has no floodgates)
LBJ/WirtzJan 19 2017 2:30AM820.60736.79Jan 18 2017 1:44PM No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Wirtz Dam at this time.
Marble Falls/StarckeJan 19 2017 2:30AM736.46683.04Jan 18 2017 1:44PM No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Starcke Dam at this time.
Travis/MansfieldJan 19 2017 2:30AM682.97491.65Jan 18 2017 1:44PM No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Mansfield Dam at this time.
Austin/MillerJan 19 2017 2:30AM482.04429.30Jan 18 2017 1:44PM No gate operations to pass floodwaters are expected at Tom Miller Dam at this time.
Bastrop/BastropJan 19 2017 2:25AM448.470.00Jan 18 2017 1:45PM 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: Jan 18 2017 1:44PM
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 (Forecast is subject to change as conditions develop):

Please see the River Operations Report for current forecasts for Lake Buchanan.


Inks Dam

Inks Lake

Last Update: Jan 18 2017 1:44PM
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 (Forecast is subject to change as conditions develop): The level of Inks Lake is expected to remain within its normal operating range.

Wirtz Dam

Lake LBJ

Last Update: Jan 18 2017 1:44PM
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 (Forecast is subject to change as conditions develop):

The level of Lake LBJ is expected to remain about four feet below its normal operating range. Please see lake lowerings for more information.

Max Starcke Dam

Lake Marble Falls

Last Update: Jan 18 2017 1:44PM
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 (Forecast is subject to change as conditions develop): The level of Lake Marble Falls is expected to remain within its normal operating range.

Mansfield Dam

Lake Travis

Last Update: Jan 18 2017 1:44PM
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 (Forecast is subject to change as conditions develop):

Please see the River Operations Report for long-range forecasts for Lake Travis.

Tom Miller Dam

Lake Austin

Last Update: Jan 18 2017 1:44PM
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 (Forecast is subject to change as conditions develop):

The level of Lake Austin is expected to remain about ten feet below its normal operating range. Please see lake lowerings for more information.

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: Jan 18 2017 1:45PM
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 (Forecast is subject to change as conditions develop): The level of Lake Bastrop is expected to remain within its normal operating range.

River Levels and Forecasts

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.
Bank Full Stage Flood Stage
Upper Basin LocationBank Full Stage(ft)Flood Stage(ft)Current Stage(ft)Current Flow(cfs)Latest Forecast And More
Colorado River at Winchell24.026.0 3.35 110Forecast
Pecan Bayou near Mullin20.040.0 1.45 79Forecast
San Saba River at Menard12.018.0 2.81 30Forecast
San Saba River near Brady16.030.0 2.46 55Forecast
San Saba River at San Saba20.024.0 3.46 162Forecast
Colorado River near San Saba25.030.0 2.82 303Forecast
Llano River near Junction12.016.0 2.43 116Forecast
Llano River near Mason6.013.0 1.42 218Forecast
Beaver Creek near Mason9.012.0 2.14 17Forecast
Llano River at Llano10.010.0 1.65 256Forecast
Sandy Creek near Kingsland8.012.0 5.75 132Forecast
Pedernales River near Fredericksburg12.022.0 5.70 58Forecast
Pedernales River near Johnson City13.014.0 10.63 237Forecast
Lower Basin LocationBank Full Stage(ft)Flood Stage(ft)Current Stage(ft)Current Flow(cfs)Latest Forecast And More
Barton Creek at Loop 360, Austin8.08.0 4.83 590Forecast
Colorado River at Austin25.033.0 15.71 2896Forecast
Onion Creek at Hwy 183, Austin15.017.0 9.06 847Forecast
Colorado River at Bastrop14.023.0 12.64 11089Forecast
Colorado River at Smithville10.020.0 9.75 11162Forecast
Colorado River above La Grange19.026.0 10.86 7155Forecast
Colorado River at Columbus30.034.0 17.91 8037Forecast
Colorado River at Wharton20.039.0 17.35 7354Forecast
Colorado River at Bay City23.044.0 13.29 8122Forecast
San Bernard River at East Bernard13.017.0 17.47 3202Forecast
Colorado River at Matagorda4.88.8 1.25  Forecast

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.