Central Texas center of Flash Flood Alley, city leaders track vulnerable areas

Graveyard Point Road (KXAN Photo/Lauren Lanmon)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — While meteorologists don’t expect to see heavy flooding in the forecast anytime soon, Central Texas is at the epicenter of what is called “Flash Flood Alley.”

In an area where emergency officials and the KXAN First Warning Weather Team always remind people to “turn around, don’t drown,” the City of Austin’s website www.atxfloods.com is a life-saving tool when it comes to informing drivers about which low water crossings are impassable due to high water. On Monday, the city will hold a meeting to look at how to design the next generation of the website.

“Right now it’s either green or red – open or closed. We don’t close anything on the application until they actually go out there and physically see something closed. We’d like to add some warning where we think crossings are closed, so not just green and red, we’ll have yellow, orange, something else to indicate we think that these crossings are closed,” says Karl McArthur, supervising engineer for Floodplain and Flood Early Warning System.

They are exploring adding more cameras and posting photos from members of the public in the case of extreme weather. At Monday’s meeting they’re inviting developers and programmers to bring their ideas to improve the website.

Austinites are also encouraged to head out there. The meeting will be hosted by Open Austin at the Terrazas Branch Library on Cesar Chavez — just east of Interstate 35 at 6:45 p.m.

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