Portions of some lakes will close as LCRA opens floodgates

Tom Miller Dam opened more floodgates on May 30, 2016. (KXAN File Photo/Frank Martinez)
Tom Miller Dam opened more floodgates on May 30, 2016. (KXAN File Photo/Frank Martinez)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Storms Northwest of Lake Buchanan led the Lower Colorado River Authority to open dams in Central Texas.

Clara Tuma with the LCRA told KXAN heavy rains fell near Lake Brownwood and Pecan Bayou, which feed downstream into the Colorado River. By opening the dams, more water will flow into the Highland Lakes and downstream into areas already saturated by rains.

  • Hydroelectric generation at Buchanan Dam begins at 6 p.m. Saturday
  • Hydroelectric generation at Mansfield Dam and Tom Miller Dam begin Sunday morning
  • One floodgate at Tom Miller Dam will open at 8 a.m. Sunday
  • One floodgate at Buchanan Dam will open at 9 a.m. Sunday

Water from Buchanan Dam flows into Inks Lake. Mansfield Dam opening means water will flow from Lake Travis into Lake Austin. Tom Miller Dam separates Lake Austin from Ladybird Lake in downtown Austin.

In anticipation of the water flowing, Austin Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr banned water access in Lake Austin, downstream of the Oyster Landing boat docks to Tom Miller Dam and in Lady Bird Lake, from Tom Miller Dam to the east end of Redbud Isle. The ban begins at 6 a.m. Sunday and lasts until noon on May 31.

Anyone caught kayaking or boating near upstream of Redbud Isle or downstream of the Oyster Landing boat docks could have their watercraft impounded.

Open Again

It was not that long ago when opening the floodgates appeared impossible. Back in April, LCRA officials opened the floodgates on Mansfield Dam for the first time in nine years.

Crowds gathered from the observation deck to see the water fall again.

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