AUSTIN (KXAN) — Lake Travis has seen a rapid rise in the past 24 hours, due to the heavy rainfall that caused destructive flooding in parts of Central Texas.
Rain that fell in the Hill Country and north of Blanco hit the watersheds that refuel the Highland Lakes chain. As of 5:45 p.m. Saturday, Lake Travis was at 637.36′, which was Travis’ highest level since August of 2012. By 2 a.m. Sunday, Travis rose to 640.21′. Within an hour, by 3 a.m., it rose another foot and a half. Lake Travis currently stands at 645.27′, the highest level it has been since August 2011. The LCRA predicts that Lake Travis will continue to see rises this holiday weekend, as runoff occurs from saturated soils.
All four lanes of the Mansfield Dam Park boat ramp are now open as well as the Pace Bend Park Tournament Point Low Water boat ramp.
While you can take your boat out, Travis County Parks is urging boaters to keep an eye out for debris. Debris on the surface is thick from the west side of Pace Bend Park upstream, starting at approximately Lake Mile Marker 31, especially on the Pedernales River. Downstream of the park, boaters can expect to encounter debris, especially in the main channel, due to the many contributing streams (Cow Creek, Sandy Creek, Cypress Creek, Bee Creek, etc.) that carried material in from last night’s rains
Blanco and areas south in Blanco County received the most rainfall of the entire system, though: 12 inches were reported anecdotally and radar-estimated rainfall rates ranged between 7 and 12.6 inches. South of Blanco, that rain flowed into the Blanco River Watershed, creating historic river flood levels for the Blanco River at Wimberley. 40.2 feet was reported at 1 a.m. on Sunday, before the gauge broke. The previous record was 33.3 feet, set in 1929.
The huge onslaught of water forced I-35 to close down between Kyle and San Marcos early Sunday morning, both north- and southbound lanes, as water began to run over the roadway. The same deluge is creating a State of Disaster in Caldwell County, as the San Marcos River in Luling is expected to see near-record flooding in the next 24 hours.
Lake Buchanan has seen far less activity, only rising a few tenths over the past 24 hours.