Saturday’s record rainfall keeps Trail of Lights closed again Sunday

The 2017 Austin Trail of Lights officially opened on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. (KXAN Photo: Tim Holcomb)
The 2017 Austin Trail of Lights officially opened on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. (KXAN Photo: Tim Holcomb)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – After closing Saturday as Austin received substantial rainfall that soaked the ground and caused standing water in some areas, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department has decided that the Austin Trail of Lights should remain closed Sunday to give Zilker Park time to dry out.

“After substantial rainfall yesterday afternoon and evening, and an evaluation of the park’s current condition, Austin Parks and Recreation Department determined that Zilker Park must remain closed today, December 17 for the safety of guests and protection of park land,” said a statement on the Trail of Lights website Sunday. “Producers of the Trail of Lights and City of Austin employees are working diligently to address standing water and other flooded conditions in order to re-open The Trail of Lights tomorrow, December 18.”

KXAN meteorologist Rosie Newberry said the Austin area broke a record rainfall total that was more than a century old.

“Austin received over half of December’s average monthly rainfall total in just one day Saturday, breaking records at both Camp Mabry and ABIA,” she said. “Yesterday’s rainfall total of 1.32 inches at Mabry broke a record that stood for over 100 years: 1.01 inches was the original record, set in 1913. More than an inch and a half of rain fell in many Austin metro spots, creating slick streets and patchy mud during what is normally one of our drier months of the year.”

This time, the Trail of Lights is making it easier for ticketholders to go at any other time to enjoy the trail.

“Ticket holders of GA and ZIP passes for December 16 or 17 may use those original passes any other night of the Trail of Lights, 12/18 through 12/23. Please present ticket at the appropriate entrance for entry at no extra cost,” the event’s website said. “Shuttle passes purchased for 12/16 or 12/17 may be used for shuttle access from Toney Burger Center and Republic Square Park on 12/19-12/23.”

However, there are special instructions for people with Platinum and Parking tickets. “Platinum and Parking tickets purchased for 12/16 or 12/17 must be exchanged to another evening pending availability. You may exchange passes no later than 5pm on the new day you’d like to attend by contacting exchanges@austintrailoflights.org. (If Ticketbud has already exchanged your tickets/platinum/parking for a new date, you are all set and can use those new tickets – no further action is required).”

Yesterday, COTA’s Winter Wonderland and the Buda Trail of Lights were also closed. As of 3 p.m. Sunday, it appears both events will be open again.

KXAN is a proud sponsor of the Austin Trail of Lights. For more information, visit the Austin Trail of Lights website.

 

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